The Landmark Forum – Don’t Do It – Top Five Fails of Landmark Forum The Landmark Forum – Don’t Do It – Top Five Fails of Landmark Forum
Last Friday I had the opportunity to check out the Landmark Forum. Many of you have probably heard about them before, but if you... The Landmark Forum – Don’t Do It – Top Five Fails of Landmark Forum

Last Friday I had the opportunity to check out the Landmark Forum. Many of you have probably heard about them before, but if you haven’t, they are a personal development company that puts on seminars around the world. The Forum that I attended was a three day seminar which was held between the hours of 9am and 10pm Friday through Sunday. You were given two half hour breaks every 2.5 hours and then a 1.5 dinner break over the course of the 13 hour day.

My course leader was a fine gentlemen named Barry Terry from Virginia. Barry Terry LandmarkHe had supposedly been a senior trainer for a couple decades and was self-proclaimed as “excellent” and “one of the best” in his field. I was excited to take part in the event and sat down in the large hall with a 100 other strangers. There was definitely a sense of positive a positive vibe in the air, as we all patiently waited for the intellectual insight that was supposedly about to flow our way. And boy, were we left disappointed!

We sat in very uncomfortable chairs that were spaced very closely together. The chairs were positioned six aside in each row, with a path separating the two sides where Barry Terry would attempt to mesmerize the crowd over the next couple of days. Now keep in mind that this was a large hall that could have easily fit 200 or more, so there was plenty of space in this room to spread out the chairs around in a more comfortable fashion, but for some reason they thought placing us shoulder to shoulder was more appropriate. Economy seating on an airplane seemed spacious compared to their layout. For a weekend long seminar that costs $650, you would have thought that they would provide you with some small degree of physical comfort, but clearly that wasn’t part of their plan. Their common solution to this commonly felt discomfort was for people to get up and stand in the back corner of the room from time to time. A remedy no one found to be sufficient.

Top 5 Fails of Landmark Forum 

1# – For Fuck’s Sake, save your $650 and read The Power of Now and  The Biology of Belief, then mix that new knowledge with taking responsibility for the wrongs if your life. If wrong turns, or caused harm, make an amends and move forward with your life. This will run you for a grand total of $25 on Amazon, a $625 worth of savings, not to mention saving you from high levels of irritation. For you brave souls out there who are now wondering about amends, well, that doesn’t costs you anything but your time and effort. Yes, I know this complex approach of reparation is so unfamiliar to the masses, but trust me when I say IT WORKS. Taking responsibility for the things you have done wrong in life and now apologizing for your part is an invaluable practice that I’m fairly sure most of us were taught in pre-school.

2# – Instead of answering direct questions from the crowd, the fast talking forum leader consistently chose to speak around any question he was unsure, providing the crowd with unhelpful answers, but spoken with certainty. Heaven forbid he broke his own racket of inferiority and simply stated, “I’m not entirely sure, but I find out for you” when asked a question he couldn’t earnestly answer. Barry Terry, I missed the section of teaching on ego ego not being your amigo in leader training, because his unwarranted hubris was off the charts.

3# – Making people speak in front of a crowd they weren’t comfortable with, coercing them to disclose person information to get down to the hard truths of their presumed problematic lives, because it was told that it would solve their problems. Keep in mind, we are talking about people who had been raped, recently gone bankrupt, and others who were physically/emotionally abused with life shattering trauma. Barry convinced the crowd that they were safe, and that the people in the course wouldn’t take any of their deeply personal stories out of the room with them (no, that would never happen now, would it?). Non-disclosure agreements were nowhere to be seen, but a simple bold statement of trust would be all that was needed for these vulnerable people. Finessing the crowd through the power of suggestion. You can trust me guys, just take the blue pill, lol.

Arnold stop whining

#4 – This one has to be my favourite, even though I know how much you guys love the idea of saving a buck or two from point number one, this is crème de la crème. After these paying customers divulged terrifying detailed personal information about themselves to the crowd, Barry Terry in all his mighty arrogance, would then label these people as crazy and laugh at them. He claimed it was their fault for the bad decision making in front of 100 strangers. Some of these soul crushing traumas many people had experienced at a very young age, with an undeveloped mind, at an innocence that should never be tampered with. I may not know very much in life, but one thing I do know for sure is that forcing someone to instantly get over fears of public speaking by exposing their life traumas to a crowd, while being told their crazy from a self-proclaimed mindset leader, usually isn’t a winning formula. Fortunately for Barry Terry I wasn’t one of those lucky few who got publicly lambasted, or he may have left Canada with a few less teeth. I will admit, it has been a few years since I have taken a psychology course at the University level, but I don’t ever recall reading about the use of public humiliation as a effective tool in behaviour change.

#5 – Course leaders dominated their co-workers with what seemed to be a power hierarchy that Hitler would be proud of. Remember that we were supposedly at a seminar where you are being sold ‘principles’ and lessons on how to live a higher, better level of life. But, in order to “complete your pasts” you would need to enrol others in your bright future to solidify your freedom. Landmark truly has created an incredible business model here, of free marketing and free labor. Yet, when it came to these second-class “worker-bees” who did most of the work to begin with, they seemed to walk around the room with little to no self-confidence of their own. Every few minutes looking back to the higher-ups to seek validation and direction as if they were a pack of defeated dogs looking to their Alpha. It was really sad. I felt like they had drank the kool-aid and didn’t even know it.

BONUS FAIL: After communicating to the course leader that I was receiving little to no value with the course on multiple occasions she finally agreed to connect with me the following day. I would be “taken care of” as she described it. She herself a course leader, preached the importance of integrity and willingness in our own lives, and yet somehow Monday turned into Thursday and I hadn’t been contacted by her. This was the solidifying moment for me and my overall sad experience at the Landmark Forum. I can only hope that you trust that there are several other ways to obtain the very same knowledge that is so highly “sought after” in Landmark. Their work is hardly original, but if you made a claim otherwise, you would be participating of a racket of your own.

Mind sheep

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  • Andre Darling

    May 9, 2014 #1 Author

    If you are not happy with your experience you should call Landmark and request a refund of your money. They take customer service seriously if you let them know about it.


    • growthguided

      May 10, 2014 #2 Author

      Fortunately for me I connected with head office a couple of times and was rewarded a refund (:


      • Ghazal Amber

        August 4, 2014 #3 Author

        Hi Growthguided, I was wondering if you could share any insights on what you said to them. I had an AWFUL experience. I genuinely authentically want a refund as well. I don’t feel Barry should be leading these things at all. I did get something out of it, due to my own tact as an individual interested in growth but 3 days of being berated is ridiculous. Your experience actually sounded MUCH better than mine. I don’t care about chairs and I don’t care if someone insults me in the context of trying to jar up my ego but making the entire experience about getting people registered on Tues night and us signing up for the next course is ridiculous. Almost every time someone went up to share he either asked if they signed up for SLP and then when they shared about calling someone he asked if they invited them Tues, and if they said no he completely discredited any break through they had by calling them small individuals who think small and thus will always be small and they aren’t going to change. On one hand I get where he is coming from but to make the whole experience about marketing is absurd. He even said several times that if we didn’t sign up for the next course and if we didn’t invite people then we were going to get NOTHING from the Advanced Course, because it isn’t about us it is about the world. Good grief. At the end when we all clapped for him he wasn’t receptive to it and said we were “dead” and “flat” and that that was our entire Advanced course because of us and that was how Tues night was going to be and that he didn’t need our acknowledgement. Nice. I stopped sharing after day 1. The amount of time he actually shared or taught anything new other than berating was possibly a total of 10 hours considering it was a 39 hour course and then the last day he was so disgusted with us he cut it early like a little before 10 rather than 11:30. I can’t believe this guy. I mean call me disgusting all you want, my ego is disgusting but to act like the only way to enroll people in the world for the possibility of change is by getting others to take Landmark and if we don’t do that then we are failures who are small minded and going to continue living our “disgusting” lives and not lead our seminar for HOURS because we are all “inauthentic” and “dead” is ridiculous. When he finally did teach and people were getting somewhere and the energy got moving he said it was all because of him and took ALL the credit. Ugh, anyway. I have been taking seminars and workshops since I was 14 years old and I have NEVER had a bad experience, and I can put up with a lot.


        • growthguided

          August 4, 2014 #4 Author

          Hi Ghazal,
          I’m not sure if timing was a factor or not, but I contacted head office and explained that I was very unhappy with the service provided and I wanted a refund. Be specific with your wording when asking for your refund. I made sure I contacted them right away after the last day to get the ball rolling.


          • Uday

            June 26, 2017 #5 Author

            Hey growthguided, are you aware of landmark promoting any Ponzi referral product pruchase programs ?!

        • Adhityan

          June 26, 2017 #6 Author

          Thank you for the guidance … If this landmark was truly to help people reach their true potential then it shouldn’t be about so much money or referral … What a piece of Money making crap , waste of time !


          • growthguided

            June 26, 2017 #7 Author

            You are welcome. And I have not come across any ponzi referral program as of yet.

    • Sherry

      September 25, 2016 #8 Author

      That is good to know that they honour customer service. I too want my money back.


      • growthguided

        September 25, 2016 #9 Author

        I Suggest contacting head office right away and be direct with what you want.
        Best of luck Sherry!


      • Linda shields

        November 17, 2016 #10 Author

        I want my money and my life back


        • growthguided

          November 17, 2016 #11 Author

          Linda call head office and specifically say that you were very unsatisfied with the forum and want a complete refund to disappear this situation! I helped someone two weeks ago get their money back and hopefully you will be able to get yours back as well.


  • Carianne Hixson

    August 1, 2014 #12 Author

    I feel bad that you wasted $600 on Landmark because you went in with the same mentality that you came out with; that you didn’t need it. Barry Terry said in my forum many times “the people that think i’m yelling at you think they’re being yelled at” and such is the same in life. You need to reevaluate some things. Good luck.


    • growthguided

      August 2, 2014 #13 Author

      There is no need to get into personal debate over the validity of either one of our experiences at the forum.

      I’m glad you experienced a lot of awakening at the forum, but that was not my experience and that is OK as well (:


      • Sherry

        September 25, 2016 #14 Author

        As they would say “I get It”. Thank you growthguided for sharing this.


        • Sreenivas

          November 26, 2016 #15 Author

          growthguided is right. landmark doesnot provide standarad method to sovle all daily problems, it is for only for few people or type of people i can say. i did forum and i was very much happy and i am thankfull to landmark. However, i am not recommending others to takeup also and even i felt other advanced programs are no use for me. its all just point of views…growthguided point of view, sherry point of view and my point of view.

          there is no good or bad course . its just our interpretations.

          thanks growthguided for sharing your point of views. i respect that and we should all respect his point of view.



    • Aditya

      February 17, 2016 #16 Author

      Just try to understand what are they doing , they are doing “brainwash”.


      • Nova Dexter

        January 11, 2017 #17 Author

        It’s not brainwashinf though! They are not providing you with a new ideology or a new lense to view your life through, but simply breaking down the mechanisms of how you think, allowing you to suddenly view your life and the world free of the constrains that your past has held you in.


        • Robert Parker

          March 15, 2017 #18 Author

          I would like to invite Aditya and others who think Landmark is a brainwashing to consider this possibility… brainwashing is about eliminating one’s choice and free will in the matter. Although, admittedly, I have not been enrolled in any of the programs offered by Landmark Education in well over a decade (and can’t fairly speak to how things are done today), The very core of the technology that Landmark offers to yourself and other “students” is insight into what informs your decisions in life, presenting you with the choice to proceed in life as you always have, or to choose differently, from a position that is free and clear of your past experiences (which often are jaded and set limitations on what you believe is possible for you).

          I am not going to sit here and say that Landmark Education is the best thing since sliced bread. I was involved for about 4 years, completed their Curriculum for Living and participated in their Leadership Program, but did not complete in a way that had me eligible to move on and lead programs. I left, because I felt I truly had gotten what I set out to receive through them. And so I choose to not continue with my participation. And that was the end of that.

          However, it was far from the end of my creating a freer, more fulfilling life for myself. I use many of these tools (or “technologies”) to allow me to problem solve in work, personal relationships and other areas of my life. I am less REactive and far more PROactive in my life. And that isn’t to say that my life is 100% the way I want it to be, or that I have no problems. It isn’t, and I do (and always will- such is life). But how I RELATE to areas and aspects of my life that were “unplanned” or “undesireable” is completely different.

          As for blaming people for their own shortcomings in life… there is a GIANT difference between blame/fault and responsibility. They are really polar opposites. Blame/Fault keeps you in the “victim” mode. Seeing where you could have been different in a particular situation actually GIVES you power. Because it reminds you that no matter what circumstance you are in, your choices will inform the next moments to come (and so forth). And while I am no longer active with the organization (as a student nor volunteer), there are no regrets on my end. It was a tough, confronting and at times very raw and embarrassing journey. But because of that journey, my perspective on life and just overall outlook has completely changed. I have accepted my own role in my failures as well as successes. And (perhaps even more importantly) my own power to influence my present circumstance in a way that better assists me to be the architect of my own future,


          • funkymorganics

            July 3, 2017 #19 Author

            They don’t brainwash you into any new ideology or ideas…they “brainwash” you into handing over your money. That’s the point. You spend multiple hours each day being told to recommend Forum to your friends and everyone you know and to urge them to come to the introductory session. You get compared to great leaders and they talk about your integrity, implying that if you don’t recommend Forum to everyone then you don’t have integrity. The point is, they have perfected the art of groupthink and riling up emotion in mass groups, which are powerful experiences to be felt by people. I’m not saying people can’t get a lot out of the Forum, but I find it’s technique lacking. It can, however, possibly, transform your views on human psychology and make you realize why mass movements are possible (group think, group emotions, etc.)

          • Being open to it.

            November 28, 2017 #20 Author

            I have been through landmark many years ago, The difference it made in my life was the things I said I wanted to work on. It’s not about money, that wasn’t my issue. It might of been a issue you have about money & you could of found out why money is your issue. I’m not defending Landmark but I would never give back all the thing I have cleared up in my life & how I handle problems in my life responsibly. I’m grateful for the many people who shared there stories it was my story. I don’t like to get in front of groups I’m now 63 years old I never went there to get throug that I don’t need to do that in my life. I want to make a difference in the life’s of others, I do it in my way one on one. Books can be helpful, I would like my grandchildren to see the possibilities in there life’s, see what stops them. Most of all being responsible for there own choices in there life. Not what they might think would make there parents happy. What would make them happy. I’m sorry that you might not of been there for the right reasons, getting complete with what happened, until it doesn’t run your life any more. Like money, the
            x-husband, being angry etc. moving forward.

  • Angelo

    October 20, 2014 #21 Author

    I went to the Forum just this weekend with Barry and the first day I felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave. But I went in with a very open mind and I am also a person who has lost everything in his life and couldn’t figure out why my life was so messed up and going so wrong. Well the Forum taught me more about myself than other Psychiatrist, Psychologist or counselor I have ever seen. I think Barry is a great speaker who doesn’t cater to your ego. We all cater to our ego. If you didn’t get anything out of it its simply because you let your own thoughts prevent you from learning anything.


    • growthguided

      October 20, 2014 #22 Author

      I am very happy to hear you enjoyed the seminar. Always remember Landmark does not hold the monopoly on those thought change principles. There are several methods to obtaining that kind of insight. If you want to learn more about where Landmark learned there message research a brilliant man named Werner Erhard. Thank you for stopping by Angelo!


      • Rick O’Shea

        January 21, 2017 #23 Author

        oh, you mean Werner “i can out-shout everyone-so-i-am-the-winner” Erhard? talk about an old gas-bag, man oh man, this guy is such a con artist. Just like the wind, he slips into a land late at night, and begins to set up his newest Carney Window. ya dig that? do ya… “GET IT?”
        Coz listen to me brother, you only wanna take on this project is if you are free of financial liens and debt and completely free of owing money. then step right up and lose your cash the old fashioned way — you get fleeced. Now be a good sheep and go home — Papa Werner is yodelling your way…


        • Emily

          February 2, 2017 #24 Author

          Werner works with Harvard’s School
          Of Business, world class leaders, and is a sought after “thinker” and creator who has also spoken at existential conferences that Yung was a part of in the last century.
          His work has had a profound impact on the world of business and integrity, leadership, and people discovering their self expression in life.


          • Dr. Ali Shapiro

            March 1, 2017 #25 Author

            Harvard is in the top 10 of censured universities. It is no longer relevant. It promotes a return to the Dark Ages.

  • Josh

    October 23, 2014 #26 Author

    One of my many issues with Landmark is this: They claim that ” Anything you want for yourself and your life is possible through your participation in the Landmark Forum”. What an arrogant and absolutely untrue statement! First of all “anything you want” is not possible. there are infinite things that are not possible. Now there are people who claim that anything is possible through God. While I don’t subscribe to this belief, Clearly Landmark is not claiming to be God, are they? Secondly since this “Anything you want for yourself and your life is possible through your participation in the Landmark Forum” is directed at whomever happens to read it basically they are saying that they are all things to all people. Total BS!

    For an organization that claims to investigate possibility they have a really screwed up conversation about possibility. Because lets face it there are perhaps 3 types of possibilities 1) the impossible: example, all pollution disappears right now 2) So improbable as to be impossible: example, World peace starts at this moment, all wars end right now and no human intentionally harms another animal, human or not, ever again, and the human race stops all pollution. 3) Possible: Landmark stays in business.

    Now Landmark also often states that what they ‘teach’ is “not the truth” This is slippery and sleazy is SO many ways!

    So there it is.


    • growthguided

      October 24, 2014 #27 Author

      Did you get a chance to check out the seminar in person Josh?
      Thanks for stopping in


      • Josh

        August 17, 2015 #28 Author

        Yes I took the Forum and several other courses.


    • Dan Joses Nzinga

      June 2, 2016 #29 Author



  • Hunter

    November 3, 2014 #30 Author

    * “Always remember Landmark does not hold the monopoly on those thought change principles.”

    In theory you may be correct in saying *that. I would agree that the programs associated with Werner Erhard and Landmark Worldwide are only a few of many opportunities that exist and have existed to delve into the concerns that customers/participants bring to the Landmark Forum.

    There are books, college courses and an untold # of workshops and classes and other human activities.

    But, in actual practice, in actual experience, for myself, a person who has always been on the look out for that kind of, call it leading edge thinking and “education” if you will, nothing compares to The Landmark Forum. While I have gotten value from everything I have ever encountered, nothing came close to the work of Werner Erhard and Landmark Worldwide. I found it to be a unique approach that stands alone in the world. And it is only my saying so that makes that true for myself. Another person who did not have that experience might not say that. I recommend The Landmark Forum to anyone I know that there is this thing that in 3 days and an evening you can create for yourself and have an entirely new perspective on your own life and any concern you have and create freedom in any are that is important to you even if you don’t believe it? People usually run to it and are thrilled with the experience. And in life there are always some who do not and this is true or any actvity in life, it is not for everyone.


    • growthguided

      November 3, 2014 #31 Author

      What was the most beneficial take-back from your forum Hunter?


      • Hunter

        November 4, 2014 #32 Author

        What is a “take back”?


        • growthguided

          November 4, 2014 #33 Author

          In other words, what was the biggest insight you took from the forum experience?


          • Hunter

            November 4, 2014 #34 Author

            I took nothing from the Landmark Forum experience.

            That was the contribution those three days were to my life that I cannot put a price on.

          • Christopher

            October 25, 2016 #35 Author

            This guy gets it.

  • Hunter

    November 6, 2014 #36 Author

    May I ask, besides “checking out” a course and sitting in as an observer with nothing at stake, nothing on the line so to speak, , if anything, what did you say ( or even fill in the course form that asked that question) you wanted to accomplish out of participating in The Landmark Forum? What had you register into it and pay the tuition in the first place?


  • Jenn

    March 13, 2015 #37 Author

    I appreciate your thoughts and how you are replying to the comments. Landmark isn’t for everyone, and not everyone will jive well with their forum leader. I happened to get a wonderful forum leader that really helped me grow. I was feeling ok about life, everything was fine but I wasn’t seeing myself grow and feeling a bit stagnant in life. This definitely gave me boost and increased my level of living. You don’t know what you don’t know and that’s a large part of what landmark helps you discover, the blindspots you didn’t even know were there. I’ve done other personal growth seminars but none were as affordable as Landmark or really committed to my success without a fee (unlike landmark). The principles and foundations are shared among most personal growth classes, I just liked how Landmark put them together and brought it home for me better.

    Do you need the Landmark Forum? no. They say actually say that. With that, I think most people will find it extremely beneficial in their life and will see the fruit of it even 10 years down the line. I’m glad I did it, and I will continue to volunteer and keep it in my life.


    • Puneet

      January 23, 2017 #38 Author

      Yes you are quite right here Jenn. Landmark isn’t for everyone. It is workable only in cases of relationship woes or in the cases where a person is living with a guilt.


  • Eric

    April 14, 2015 #39 Author

    To Jenn: “I’m glad I did it, and I will continue to volunteer and keep it in my life.”

    Remember, Barry told you not to call it “volunteering” , you’re “helping people get the most out of the course”. A for profit corporation can’t use unpaid volunteers and Landmark has gotten some heat about it.


    • growthguided

      April 14, 2015 #40 Author

      I think you bring up a valid point that should be up for some discussion Eric. Thank you!


  • Adam Robbins

    May 17, 2015 #41 Author

    Barry Terry gives me the creeps. The male course supervisors are punks. The female ones and their spandex pants are very unprofessional.


    • growthguided

      May 19, 2015 #42 Author

      It’s sad that such a large company would allow for such unprofessional individuals to represent their company. Maybe they are in a restructuring process and we can give them the benefit of the doubt.


      • Mary

        March 27, 2019 #43 Author

        Hi, I was recruited by a new colleague at work and I feel like he betrayed my trust. I only attended the free session and paid a deposit. It scares me when I think about how I believed them, and was close this this group. My question is , I want to know what there criteria is when they are recruiting? Do they care if you have money? Do they think this person has mental health concerns and they might be affected? I am just worried because this coworker might be recruiting vulnerable students who are going to colleges and are facing different barriers. Should I report him? Please help?


        • growthguided

          March 28, 2019 #44 Author

          It has been many years since I have attended, so I couldn’t give you a fair answer on your questions that you have. From what I do recall it didn’t seem like they were selective at all from who they were trying to sell their stuff to.


  • Bob V

    July 1, 2015 #45 Author

    Just wanted to respond to you @growthguided

    I am thinking of taking the Landmark forum and my dad has already went through both the forum and the advanced course already, he is very big on self improvement.

    I also think it has some potential but I wanted to find out why you didn’t respond to Hunter’s comments up ahead. Please respond to them as you have replied to more recent posts already.


    • growthguided

      July 1, 2015 #46 Author

      This post was an expression of my personal experience with the forum. I have little time to invest in debate or justification of the experience.


  • Christopher

    September 16, 2015 #47 Author

    I had the same challenges with Landmark. I did my Forum almost 7 years ago, and didn’t go back, because I was was not in alignment with their enrollment/marketing procedures to bring your friends and family to sign up…I did however get huge value out of it and credit the experience and the language with having given me access to the most amazing relationship I have ever had in my life over the past three years with my girlfriend, father, mother, and just about everyone else in my life. In December of last year I returned for more…

    I have a degree in business and a secondary degree in Hypnotherapy. In addition I am also very studied in NLP, Anthropology, Linguistics, Mythology, Theology, Neurobiology, Systems Theory, and Quantum Physics.

    I finally got over myself this last year and returned not only for the Advanced program, but also SELP, The Communication Curriculum, which I am told was originally called the love course, and am now in their Team Management Leadership Program.

    What I will say is you are ALL right! Truth exists in multiple dimensions, scales, and scopes, as a process and an artifact of creation. Anything is possible. The access to possibility is based on agreement . Reading books like “The Power of Now”, “The Four Agreements”, “Conversations With God”, etc… will give you much of the same Know-ledge that you can get in the courses. What it won’t give you is the experience of NOWing it into your reality.

    The truth is You are GOD in the realm of creator and created are One. So is everyone else, so your access to power in creating big, is being connected to everyone else in your life and having them operating from the realm of nothing so that anything is possible. You are also more created in your own possibility by how many people hold you in it. What this means is that the context of sharing vulnerably in front of 100+ people gives you more power. It makes possible in reality a new NOWing of you by more of GOD holding agreement of a new you.

    Life is magic and miraculous, Landmark is creating a world for us to get it… and to get ourselves powerfully. Unfortunately in the past my rationality collapsed my possibilities and kept me from having what I wanted. Instead all I could have was the projection of my skepticism reflected back to me in reality and reinforcing how right I was.

    Now I am full of possibility and the world has actually transformed around me magically during my transformation. My Father and Mother are different people than I ever thought possible, and it happened over night! This is a coaching process. What I now understand is coaching doesn’t work unless (I) am actually playing full out. That has been my key in this work being so powerful.

    I hope this serves to bring something to this conversation. Thank you for the opportunity to share.


    • growthguided

      September 16, 2015 #48 Author

      This post has stirred up a massive uproar for individuals who are ‘pro-forum’, and I will admit to not acknowledging most of them, but I do really appreciate your perspective here Christopher. I think regardless of my experience at the forum, your well thought out message will definitely serve as a strong perspective to potential participants.

      Wishing you the best, and thank you for your strong comment!


    • Nelly

      January 30, 2017 #49 Author

      Christopher, I came here looking for some answers on another group of people that are offering the same teachings landmark gives but they do it “free” … (so far anyway)… but in my experience of the seminar things got a little weird with the leader of that group wanting to work one of one with me, and some things I would rather not write here but have to do with all the things you say you are familiar above (NLP,Quantum Physics,Hypnotherapy etc….) I have a very specific question for you, something was done to me end up being more of permanent damage to my psyche than any help and I would appreciate it if you could contact me directly , I need answers… and this leader is not giving them to me, he shut me out because I demanded answers from him and he just wanted me to be a follower… my email is Thank you


      • Eduardo

        May 3, 2017 #50 Author

        Nelly, did you get the answer you were seeking?


  • Loren

    September 28, 2015 #51 Author

    Thank you for writing this article, it was exactly what I needed!

    I just attended the Landmark Forum and I found it to be one of the most isolating experiences of my life. Instead of feeling the freedom everyone was talking about, I felt constrained and restricted by this rigid path they were laying out before us. Giving voice to my concerns was consistently met with defensiveness, alienation, and at times, outright hostility. The strategic use of repetition and suggestion was blatant; but it was when the course leader began manipulating people with condescension and humiliation tactics that the word “brainwashing” first entered my mind.

    I really had gone in with an open mind, and I was ready to learn and be transformed. However, it was the end of the second day, and I remained unmoved. Thus far, I felt like I had already seen and “disappeared” a lot of the things on my list I felt had to go; but, I went into the forum with the hopes of resolving one particular issue I have still been struggling with. I decided to take action and ask for support from the lead course supervisor. He was anywhere but with me during our conversation, which was ironic since they had just been talking about being present and that everything is right here, right now. He was looking around the room, fidgeting, looking at the course leader. I ignored the “racket” telling me that he was not remotely interested in what I had to say, and explained my difficulty connecting and wanting to resolve this issue. After he offered me the same script that the course leader had been using all weekend, I explained some of the obstacles that were getting in the way, so he offered the same script in different words. When the circular speech wasn’t working, he proceeded to tell me to “throw out” the issue I felt needed work and give him another problem to work with. It was reminiscent of a telemarketer who cannot diverge from the script. The conversation ended with a, “keep listening and wait. It’ll come to you”. Another hypocrisy, telling me to passively wait for “it” to come to me when they had been saying there is only right now…

    I promised myself going into this that I would not regret it, and I can honestly say that I don’t. I gained some valuable insights about myself. I learned that I am capable of maintaining my convictions and beliefs, even under intense pressure to conform. And despite the message that was repeatedly drilled into my brain all weekend, I learned that my life is not a mess, it is not empty, and it is definitely not meaningless. I saw many people have positive experiences, and though mine was not, it certainly isn’t my intention to invalidate theirs. I just want to make the point that in a world of over 7 billion individuals, there is no methodology that is “one size fits all”.


    • growthguided

      September 28, 2015 #52 Author

      Greatly appreciate your perspective Loren.
      I think there is a high probably that because many of the “leaders” of the seminar are only well versed in scripted in their own plan of attack they replay the tape in their answers to help deviate from processing questions that can’t be answered effectively with their knowledge, instead of saying…”that is a tough question, I might not have the answer for you right now”.

      This really hit home for me “I explained some of the obstacles that were getting in the way, so he offered the same script in different words. When the circular speech wasn’t working, he proceeded to tell me to “throw out” the issue I felt needed work and give him another problem to work with. It was reminiscent of a telemarketer who cannot diverge from the script.”


  • Bill Sanders

    September 28, 2015 #53 Author

    I just got off the phone with someone who LOVES Landmark Forum. She just completed The Communication Curriculum and was ecstatic about “candidating” 7 people. She STRONGLY urged me to sign up. When I brought up the fact that I did the Forum back in the 80s and dropped out after dinner on Day 2, she assured me that it had changed. She added, “If you insist on analyzing it, you will never do it. My advice is to JUST DO IT!” I told her this reminds my of a religious cult. With all the glowing recommendations from “corporate leaders” available online, I am so glad I found your honest report of being disappointed when I googled “Landmark FAIL.” Christophers rant above just confirms how much i do NOT need Landmark. Yikes….


    • growthguided

      September 29, 2015 #54 Author

      How much has it varied since the 80s?


  • RRW

    October 30, 2015 #55 Author

    The Landmark forum was recommended to me by my boyfriend. I did not have any “issues” to solve and took it just as one might read a self-improvement book praised by someone close to them. From the beginning, I was not “wowed” by the seminar. I was an editor at that time and had great difficulty with their use of words–largely incomprehensible and imprecise. If after years and years of seminars, no one can express it clearly, then there is a real problem. I did not “get it” — the message that the past doesn’t have to dictate your present wasn’t new to me, nor was the idea that you cannot control people’s actions but you can, to some extent, control your response. Perhaps I had already “got it” and was already “transformed.” As you said, the forum lessons are available elsewhere. I don’t like manipulation and I was aware that a great deal of it was going on–from making you talk in their jargon, making you feel you were not open if you didn’t “get it,” physically limiting your space, and controlling your time to prevent you from reflecting on what was happening. Occasionally, the treatment of those who “shared” was mean-spirited, in the guise of helping.. Certainly if a person beats you down, then uplifts you, you feel saved–but this is truly manipulation. I particularly disliked the “fear” session when you were supposed to close your eyes and imagine fear or sorrow. I also disliked the idea of standing up in front of a bunch of people and saying you “got it.” This is just like the old gospel shows that toured the country, where everyone got religion and were transformed. A “free” seminar was included with the multiday package, and I went every week. It was boring and stupid. The chairs were in tight circles, which I felt were uncomfortable, so I moved the chairs out until I had enough room. It was on “excellence.” I know how to do this–be an “A” student and then add something extra. But the seminar was just on people saying they would do something, and we were all supposed to clap. A woman in my group wanted to grow her business, and I suggested a number of activities that she might try. But this wasn’t what we were to do–we were supposed to just cheer her on, although she was totally clueless about what to do. After that, despite numerous calls from Landmark to get me to sign up for classes ($), I said no thanks. I was told I wasn’t open–I said I’d given them plenty of chances to impress me and it wasn’t working.
    At the initial seminar, I was in a group of two, and I pointed out to the guy that that the young man who forgave his alcoholic parent was going to go back home and the parent was going to continue to behave in the same way toward him–we cannot control the behaviors of others, only our reactions to them– and the guy was going to have to continue to “forgive” the parent on a daily basis. Later, to my surprise, my small group partner (who said he “got it” and had called his parents) was arguing with the leader, using my discussion. I found this rather humorous.


    • growthguided

      November 1, 2015 #56 Author

      I’m sorry you invested all that time and didn’t “get it” like myself! Thank you for taking the time to express your experience. Not on the basis that it was negative and I can add another win to the dislike landmark forum team but to give other people perspective on how the forum is approached or sold.


      • Flor

        October 15, 2016 #57 Author

        RRW I could not have said it better myself. Your comments on Landmark are so on target for me. GROWTHGUIDED Thank you for writing about this. Overall the whole thread has helped me in many ways, mostly on the sense of relief in knowing I wasn’t the only one. Great article!


        • growthguided

          October 15, 2016 #58 Author

          You are most definitely not alone Flor (: Thank you for the kind words!


    • Marijka

      May 19, 2017 #59 Author

      It’s funny how they preach that you can’t control people’s actions and yet they employ methods designed to manipulate everyone. Priceless.


  • Deborah

    December 7, 2015 #60 Author

    My ex-husband took this course over the weekend after much prompting from his girlfriend, a long standing member and recruiter for this program. My ex was an addict and brutally abusive. After a long, sometimes brutal divorce, he had become sober and we had settled into a peaceful relationship where we were finally speaking with and supporting our daughter and each other. He met his new girlfriend and I thought she was an extremely kind woman and liked her very much, however just a few short weeks after meeting her my ex became even more cruel and heartless than any time prior in our relationship. He started manipulating and belittling me constantly. After one such encounter his girlfriend called me and told me to leave him alone, he was fragile and trying to recover from the abuse I inflicted on him during our marriage. I was floored. She was not aware that he was a recovering crack addict, alcoholic with a very long record of dui’s, drug posession and domestic violence, She told me I was delusional and that he had told her that I would say anything to make him look bad. I told her not to take my word for it, to run a background on him and she told me that she would never betray his trust like that. She then proceeded to try to sign me up for a session to help me. I declined. My conversations with both of them since that time have been surreal. They talk around everything, never acknowledging the actual situation at hand. She makes plans for my teenage daughter that are neither discussed with my daughter or myself. She makes my daughter extremely uncomfortable and will call her at all hours just to talk. They both do whatever works best for them and when they cause harm or break rules or cause upheaval they will not acknowledge any fault, answer any questions or take any responsibility. Last time they had my daughter they brought her home 8 hours late. The answer I received as to why was they weren’t going to answer because it was in the past, meaning they had dropped her of 10 minutes earlier so the reason didn’t matter because it was in the past. My favorite text after causing harm or upheaval is the one that says, “a life spent apologizing isn’t a life worth living.” This weekend I got a call from my ex, I was “the phone call.” His apology was very simple and when I asked him for specific circumstances he was referring to his response was it’s in the past. Last night after his final meeting he informed me that he signed up our 13 year old for the teen session. I declined and immediately started getting texts from both of them telling me how selfish I was, how cruel, what a bad mother, if I want to hold her back I am going to destroy her. This lasted until 3:00 this morning. If this is Landmark Forum teachings and practices then I think declining to let my daughter go was a very good choice. The cruelest, most disfunctional people I have encountered are the two biggest proponents of this program. This program has allowed them both to do whatever they choose to whomever they choose without conscience or guilt, because they are only responsible for how they feel and can’t control anyone else’s including a 13 year old child. This is dangerous and damaging to all involved.


    • James

      October 19, 2018 #61 Author

      Deborah – that reminds me alot of Scientology. I have done so many “self help” things like this, I’ve lost track. I also did the Forum, some of the seminars, and the 2 advanced courses they had back in the late 80’s.
      I don’t remember it being that bad, but I know people can take it and run with it so that it becomes that way – in other words use it as a way of justifying anything. It seems the more people get involved and the more the movement spreads, the more potential for skewed interpretation and consequent abuse,
      And it seems that the more it happens to warp someones logic, the bigger a proponent that person becomes.

      I also think Landmark has probably changed alot over the years, as it may get further from Werner Erhard’s original ideas & teaching techniques.

      The weakness of such programs is that when very unstable & abusive people – such as your ex – get ahold of such ideas and “coaching”, the idea of changing ‘over-night’ is extremely attractive & abusable for them. Anyone who knows such people, knows how frequently they claim to have “changed” into a new person. It’s one of their best tools of self deception as well as useful in conning others into trusting them again.

      The main weakness of such people, in my opinion, is their lack of deep sincerity. The difficulty for them in changing is that they cannot assess realistically the commitment & discipline required to change – due of course to their inability to be sufficiently sincere about it.
      So they approach it as if it’s just a matter of convincing others that they’ve changed, which is all they really do. It sounds like your ex and his girlfriend have co-opted the ideas of the Forum into a set of ready justifications for anything they decide to do.

      I remember Werner saying “this is not a justification for anything – you can’t use it.”


      • growthguided

        October 19, 2018 #62 Author

        Well written James.

        Wishing you a peaceful weekend (:


  • Deborah

    December 8, 2015 #63 Author

    Part 2
    Ex husband calls and asks me if daughter can go to his graduation and an introduction to the teen forum. I say yes to his graduation and no to the introduction. He states it would be very beneficial for her. I ask how, and receive a long rambling answer with absolutely no actual answer or information of any kind. I say no. He says can she just attend the graduation then. I say yes, but then ask for exact details. He says he’ll call me right back. Then an hour later he just sends a text saying he will pick her up at 6:30. I say not without details. He then says I misunderstood, the graduation is for adults only and she would be attending the introduction and she will be in a sedate room with many supervisors whom he says are trustworthy and responsible. I then ask how I misunderstood and how he knows and vouch for these supervisors. He then tells me that I am to closed off to understand, that I should just trust him. I say sure, I will bring her out he can go to his portion and I will attend the introduction with her. Nope, no parents allowed. As a teacher and more importantly a mother, I know that there is everything wrong with this scenario and nothing right about it! I decline and immediately receive the terrible mother, terrible person texts from both he and the girlfriend. Have I mentioned that we are in our late forties and mid-fifties? My response was is this the behavior my child will be learning. Send me one paragraph containing actual information and I will keep an open mind. No response. Again all I see is very manipulative, deceitful, bullying and unhealthy behavior.


  • Lulu

    December 24, 2015 #64 Author

    I once had a close friend whom I thought was intelligent, if maybe weak. A couple of times in the last number of years we reconnected. The last time, it was a fruitless, condescending conversation on his part, disrespectful and sarcastic. He was into some cult, it seemed, and I said thank you but no. We connected up again the other day for something else and once again, the conversation became weirdly condescending, and that I needed to take a seminar ASAP to resolve “issues”. For a couple of hours I tried to understand what he was talking about, but apparently, until I take these Landmark forum seminars, there was nothing to talk to. He was cruel, disrespectful, domineering, closed minded, elusive, and frankly, blinded by something. I am just a little familiar with Cultish behavior, and this smacked of it. It was sickening talking to him. I gave him plenty of compliments, but he could not say one nice thing to me. He was a jerk. I looked up Landmark, and it was pretty easy to tell from his demeanor what this was. He sounded brainwashed and couldn’t talk about anything else. Apparently he is a leader or something and write work for them. Sounds like he is far gone, lost for good. Brain is fused. He used to be so smart, now nothing but a “brownshirt”. No freedom in his speech. I do not have to attend to see the damage it caused my friend’s mind. Big yikes.


    • growthguided

      December 24, 2015 #65 Author

      I’m sorry for your disconnect with your friend. It’s too bad Landmark doesn’t do better character assessments prior to hiring ‘leaders’ to sell and explain their program in this case. Thank you for stopping in.

      Merry Christmas.


    • Lisa

      December 14, 2016 #66 Author

      I am a Clinical Psychologist, and I went into the Landmark world within a cloak of curiosity and a LOT of skepticism. However, I have to say that while I do not at all agree with the pressure to get others involved – which I have voiced numerous times to leaders, once I got past my skepticism (and my Psych ego ) I have been very impressed with everything I have learned through their programmes/courses – and I have done MANY. The concepts are brilliant. Many are psychology concepts, Buddhist concepts, various other concepts – which to my eye have been packaged succinctly and very effectively. It takes a lot of courage and humility to be completely open to the various understandings, and our ego defenses do often get in the way, and it can be hard to swallow when we uncover some of our motives and not so lovely ways of being. Unbelievably liberating and empowering though when we get there. Do I always agree with the way things are done at Landmark – no. Have I had to myself learn to not get caught up in being a ‘good girl’ and dutifully asking people to attend introduction sessions, simply because I wanted to be a ‘good girl’ – yes (which has been an empowering recognition I’ve been able to put into practice! My own adjunctive learning)

      All that said – the way your ex and his girlfriend have behaved is pretty despicable, and not at ALL in line with Landmark teachings. For example, there is NO integrity (a very central concept within the Landmark world) at all in them not being very clear with you about what was happening with your daughter’s participation, and the timing of pick ups/drop offs etc. I have personally encountered someone using Landmark concepts in a manipulative way – which I called her out on at the time, but this is NOT the way these concepts were ever intended to be used. ie rather than this person owning her very poor behaviour which had no integrity, she tried to say that me respectfully challenging her on what she had done, was my ‘story’. I totally get the concept of a ‘story’ – our own added (but inaccurate) meaning to a situation, and I get that sometimes we can’t see it, but in this instance that really was not what was going on. She didn’t want to own her ‘out of integrity’, but rather wanted to try to make me ‘bad and wrong’. I wasn’t attached to her having to ‘own it’ or ‘get it’ though (which I suspect she did, but we all have defenses and defensiveness when we don’t want our not so pretty behaviours exposed). I moved on and accepted that she wasn’t going to own it, and that was fine.

      I guess my bottom line is that I have personally found, and observed in sooooo many others, Landmark education to be phenomenal. It isn’t for everyone. It takes one heck of a lot of humility, openness, ego strength (but not ego defensiveness) to truly get maximum benefit, and sadly some people may think they ‘get it’ but really they don’t (as seems might be the case with your ex), or our human beingness gets in the way – wanting to ‘look good’, ‘be right’ etc and we can use concepts to defend against poor behaviour being exposed – though I would say most would actually recognize at some level what they are doing – just not be prepared to acknowledge it. The more seminars you do, honestly, the deeper you actually get the profundity of the concepts. I haven’t experienced the fellow some of the people here are talking about – Larry, but I can say the leaders I’ve encountered have been phenomenal. My best friend however, did have a very negative experience just 10 years ago, and the way the Forum was conducted then DID sound like there was a degree of humiliation – and sounded pretty disgusting all ’round. She had the courage to stand up to it. That said, the ‘act’ that she was defending against, I actually think was pretty accurately identified.

      So I'[m a Landmark Lover – with the caution/caveat about the pushiness to get others to attend. I am more than happy to recommend it to people when I can see that they could really get something from it, but I no longer let myself get caught up in having to put a bunch of names down just for the sake of ‘looking good’ or being a ‘good girl’ to please the Landmark leader at the time. It’s not perfect, the people leading are not perfect. Overall though, I personally think it’s a fabulous programme – at least the way it is being run in the last few years that I’ve been involved -(not actively at the moment) – 2012-2015

      Just my thoughts….


      • growthguided

        December 14, 2016 #67 Author

        I believe Lisa’s response is directed towards Deborah (not LuLu), just for clarification guys!


  • kinderegg

    January 9, 2016 #68 Author

    Some time ago I went to their recruitment evenings in London.All I can say is that I have not gone through a bigger bullshit in my life.

    I do not remember the name of the main spokesman, but I could tell from the first sight he was a w****r.

    Inside couple of minutes I thought I heard it all. 1) the price of basic weekend course was over £300 2) the course was of american origin 3) the course was about nothing
    I do not want to offend any Americans,but as a European I thought “God bless America…”, I really wanted to leave straight away,but I decided to stay on.

    The main spokesman carried on,promising some great transformation. After him the members of the Forum were talking about their experience. Then my former friend,who actually invited me to the session,tried to make me sign up. He wanted to sign some paper committing me to pay a non-refundable sum of money (some kind of a guarantee that I will asign to the course,the sum was what I had on me at that time)
    When I raised any objection,he gave me strange emotionless look,like if he was bored with me and no interested in what I was saying.

    I did not sign up.When my friend (who was all lovely to me to that point) realised I was not gonna sign up,he told me to f”**k myself. – well,what a transformation.


    • growthguided

      January 9, 2016 #69 Author

      The Landmark Forum is rooted in Werner Erhard’s work. Although he is a Yankie not all the forum leaders who lead the forums are American.

      ahahha still laughing at your friend telling you to go “fuck yourself”. Sounds like a strong sales pitch for the forum!


  • B-Mc

    January 11, 2016 #70 Author

    +1 on your remarks about Landmark forum. Especially the “benefits of public humiliation as a tool in behavior change”. I don’t understand how the leaders of this organization don’t get that this is quite destructive and not helpful. I think Pavlov showed us the power of positive reinforcement sometime back in the 1890s.

    Sadly, we humans tend to remember traumatic or unpleasant experiences stuff way more vividly than other things. That is why they say it takes 100 “at-a-boys” to make up for 1 “uh-oh”.

    I remember our teacher/leader (who was a condescending prick) was TERRIBLY disappointed that we didn’t invite more people to the graduation ceremony. He told us that he had lead umpteen zillion courses and that this was the worst attended graduation of all time. Well here is a clue…..why would we want to subject people we know and like to the type of abuse and humiliation we experienced?

    I think there probably was “distinctions” that I would have gotten if I wasn’t sitting in the rock hard chair daydreaming about whipping the instructors ass. I think his name was Scott and that he was a lawyer from California.

    I have a number of friends who have been through it and are “enrolled” and talk in that odd Landmark language. They say things like “Get it”, “racket”, “story” and “possibility. They are always encouraging me to come back and take more courses. I politely tell them “HELL NO!!!!”, but thanks for thinking of me.

    The truth is that there was some very good material in the course. I only wish the leader wasn’t such a JACKWAGON to me and others in the class.


    • growthguided

      January 11, 2016 #71 Author

      You know what B-Mc, I completely agree with you. If they would only take more time grooming and educating their ‘leaders’ they might be able translate Werner Erhard’s work with more success to their customers. I found it incredibly amusing how a good portion of the forum is focused on interpersonal communication and yet many of the staff were socially inept.


  • Marie C

    January 14, 2016 #72 Author

    Hi Growthguided,

    I did the Landmark Forum in Nov 2010, and it was a major breakthrough in my life, on so many levels. It was the start for me (I did the communication courses as well, which were my favorites) to get a great set of tools to go further with my professionnal goals (I make happen my projets easier and more efficiently -comedy club- than ever), my love life and my family (talking to my biological mother allowed me to meet my biological father for the first time in my life in 35 years). I did not expect that at all when I took the Forum.

    I’m sorry to hear you did not have an experience as positive as I got.
    Like other great stuff, not all the experiences are for everybody.
    It’s great that you still gave it a try.
    (Same for me with yoga lol).

    Have a great one.


    • growthguided

      January 14, 2016 #73 Author

      Thanks for connecting Marie. Any time I hear about people experiencing a deep personal growth, regardless of the tools used to activate it, I’m always get excited. Good on ya! Wishing you even more success in 2016!


  • Rosie

    January 29, 2016 #75 Author

    Just got home from this forum . Stupid and boring . Common sense that is dragged out for 13 hours . Absolutely nothing groundbreaking . What’s with the mean looking people watching in the back ? Felt like chaperones at the Ridgemont High gym waiting for John Travolta to do his dance. I think I will hit my gym and walk my dog on Saturday in lieu of this racket . Oh and Sunday I have church – at least my priest doesn’t insult my intelligence.. Unless you have a compelling reason for me to return and finish day two and three ?


    • growthguided

      February 1, 2016 #76 Author

      Sorry I didn’t get to this response till today. How did you make out at the forum?


  • Jim G

    February 3, 2016 #77 Author

    I did the entire 3 courses about 20 years ago. In retrospect, the wisdom I gained from the course came over time. And I think the trainings shouldn’t be taken so seriously — it is true I think that if I had paid attention to what I was gaining/learning back then, I probably would have taken action in my life at least in one way which I am finally taking action in now (taking up screenwriting) years later. Perhaps it’s hard to digest it all since the seminars happen so quickly. What I “get” now is that I am just a wiser person for taking the courses, and I can dissect my “possibility” a little further upon reflection, and choose to pursue a new hobby that could turn into a job with any luck and enough effort (screenwriting.) All the negative stuff we worry so much about Landmark really don’t matter years later, they are just the equivalent of sweating the small stuff, I think.


    • growthguided

      February 3, 2016 #78 Author

      Don’t you feel that a lot of that wisdom is brought to your attention through other experiences and mentorship as your progressed in life, not to mention other books or courses you may have studied? My point is that they don’t hold the monopoly on this type of internal insight, and it can be obtained through various sources. For me the small stuff will always be taken account for due to the steep price tag associated with the forum, so the refinement in the leaders need to be constantly refined.


      • Miles

        February 10, 2016 #79 Author

        I enjoy your balanced approach to the topic at hand. I did the Forum last November. I am with you, in that, Landmark does not have a monopoly on the processes in which one may gain insights into their life. Whatever approach someone takes is perfect for them. I finished months of chemo, and I gained a lot from that experience. No one needs or should take the forum. I encourage it to others, for what I have gained, and the transformation I have seen. I have better relations with my family because of it. But they can powerfully say no, and that is totally fine. I just want to empower others in whatever they are up to. In regards to the small stuff you were describing, I was allowed to eat in there. I had a muffin or half a sandwich, and I went to the bathroom when I needed to. I wasn’t frowned upon for such. And my instructor didn’t belittle or humiliate anyone, nor did he pressure anyone into speaking. He would wait for people to raise their hands, and he would call upon those people. Of course, that is my interpretation of what happened, and someone else who took it at the exact same time may very well feel otherwise.
        Lastly, I have felt that the forum and the seminar series following it, has renewed my sense of faith and spirituality. I would say I’m a child of God, yet I didn’t go to church regularly, I prayed for those who I sought fit, and I didn’t help and support everyone around me, It helped me realize how I was behaving. So I can’t say its a cult in that manner. But it is a business, they seek to make money. That’s the reality of it, When I share it with others, its because I just want for them what I got. Its the same as Church. I have gained so much because of my faith, but I’m not some crazy evangelical about it, knocking of people’s doors, constantly telling them they need to do the forum, or believe in some deity. You need to be gracious and understanding where others are coming from. If someone comes to those personal realizations without this kind of education, then that is so awesome.


        • growthguided

          February 11, 2016 #80 Author

          That’s awesome Miles. How have you adjusted your approach to spirituality since attending the forum?


  • H.

    February 22, 2016 #81 Author

    Hi Thanks for your posts on the Landmark Forum. I have enjoyed the comments almost as much as the article. My brother and his wife took the Forum in 2007 and thus I have been curious about it for years. I went to an introductory evening once and noticed that the leader berated and insulted people in a very confrontational style. I dont know that I could handle that. I would probably say insults dont work with me can you ask me another question. I can tell you the taking personal responsibility and having integrity is something I already have in fact, my complaint with others usually is around those two issues. As far as making amends with others, I used to be better about releasing grudges and forgiving but after discovering that forgiveness and unconditional acceptance seems to make toxic and abusive people worse, Ive reconsidered that position. Sure if I was standing in my way, I would want to know more, but is there some benefit besides Personal responsbility, amends, integrity and this “racket” and “act” stuff they talk about that I could benefit from?

    Anybody have any thoughts on that?


    • growthguided

      February 22, 2016 #82 Author

      From my understanding H.A whatever shows up for you at the time of the forum is worthy material for you to consider. I would make note of whatever rises to the surface if you chose to do the forum and then speak to a trusted mentor who is not connected to the forum to review your personal concerns for a broader perspective.

      I don’t think I could speak on a general expectation of what one could anticipate by entering into a personal growth seminar.

      Wishing you the best on your personal growth progression.


  • J Dodge

    February 29, 2016 #83 Author

    From what I know about them, they work in partnership with many MLM companies (Amway, Primerica, etc) as their brainwashing and recruiting techniques target the same groups of individuals. Ive even heard these MLM’s try to recruit new members as they’re leaving these conferences. This founder Ekhard character didn’t exactly exemplify good character himself, abandoning his wife and three kids before this whole thing got started.


  • Amy

    March 7, 2016 #84 Author

    I have a friend who has taken probably all of the classes LandMark offers over many years (flying all over the US to do so), pitches it constantly to everyone she meets, talks about it incessantly at work, and still has a drinking problem, gambling problem, and is insanely jealous about her husband while saying she has no problems or flaws. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told that “I don’t know what I don’t know”. Yep, I’m sure there is plenty I don’t know, but all it seems LandMark has done is give this woman an excuse so she can continue her destructive behaviors and tell everybody else that they “don’t get it”. Yes, I tried the ‘beginning forum seminar’ and left in the middle of the second day – instructor was too mean-spirited and downright nasty for my taste. There are many other ways to become present to the moment, communicate better with others, be a better person, exorcise past demons, and make amends for past failings. Thanks for letting me vent. My advice – don’t ever do LandMark Forum.


    • growthguided

      March 7, 2016 #85 Author

      I hope your friend can surrender to her drinking problem and get some help with that Amy.

      Thank you for taking the time to write a response and share your experience. Have a great week!


  • H Salaam

    March 17, 2016 #86 Author

    I had the opportunity to take the Landmark Forum in Oct. 2014. I also had the same leader as you. My experience however was different from yours. I total agree with you that no one (other than God) is the ultimate source of insight, understand, enlightenment and self awareness. Every human being is on there own personal journey in this life. So if anyone ever told me they had all the answers to life’s most important and power questions and how I was supposed to live my life, I would Run for the Hills! I’m no spokesperson for Landmark, and I will simply say whatever you’re interested in creating as a result of doing the workshop is there if you’re committed to finding it. And you’re not wrong if you don’t find it there. It doesn’t mean the trainings don’t work. They just might not have worked for you, and that’s ok! Life is such profound and interesting journey to be engaged with fully and completely. It’s about living your life with Joy, Freedom and Passion (or not), that’s just my point of view. Whatever brings peace, fulfillment and happiness into your life weather it’s Landmark or any other pursuit go for it! You’ve only got this one life to live, unless of course you believe in reincarnation, then you’ll just keep at it until you get it right!


  • Concerned

    March 18, 2016 #87 Author

    What appears to be a common factor in all LGATs (est, Lifespring, Actualisations, PSI World, Insight, Landmark Education and hundreds of other smaller ones) is humiliation and abuse (reframed by course leaders as benevolent guidance) under the guise of “taking responsibility”. According to Pressman (1993) Werner Erhard (whose “technology” was sold to Landmark Education) often used to state that 6 million Jews had been responsible for their own deaths during the holocaust of world war 2. While billed as accountability, this is a guilt-inducing mechanism in disguise. It is also concerning that anyone who doesn’t convert to the LGAT doctrine is labelled as being obtuse/pig-headed/arrogant/unwilling to change and people who react very badly to the trainings are, by the imposed philosophy of the training, not being accountable if they point out that their adverse reactions came about from doing the course. The glaring irony of Landmark and other LGATs is that they preach accountability, while taking responsibility for nothing.


    • growthguided

      March 18, 2016 #88 Author

      It is sad how destructive some of the LGAT seminars can be for people who are just tying to live better lives.

      For those of you who read this post and were wondering what LGAT was. The acronym stands for “Large Group Awareness Training”


  • KO

    March 21, 2016 #89 Author

    Thank you for your insight. I was working out with a new friend I met via social media. We met up to work out along with another young lady. As we were in the middle of our cooldown, they both brought up Landmark. In that instance, I became suspicious. Especially after I told them both that I’m already part of an educational/transformational program for women that has really helped me. They went on as if I haven’t said a word. Suddenly I thought “So THIS is why I was invited out, to be coerced into some pyramid scheme bull****?” The whole rest of our walk was them both trying to convince me why this Landmark thing was so much better than anything out there ever. I’m not easily coerced and I immediately tuned them both out. It was a really weird experience. The new friend even went on to say “I’m so glad you’re coming, yay!” when I hadn’t said I was coming at all. Like you said, none of their teachings are unique to the world. There’s an abundance of resources and trustworthy practitioners out there to help guide us through life.


  • KO

    March 21, 2016 #90 Author

    Oh and another thing. When I asked them what was so unique about this program and how it helps them. Neither of them could give me a straight answer. I think if you’re trying to sell someone on a self-help program, you need to be able to articulate what it does for you as a participant. Just sayin’.


    • Cory spence

      March 28, 2016 #91 Author

      It’s very intriguing that you were so off-put by this experience,
      as a core belief of the forum, is to be “authentic” it appears that these 2 of ladies were the furthest thing from that.., and in doing so, only pushed you away from the forum.
      Maybe they were just trying to recruit, as they felt they wanted to share a positive experience with others?


    • Frank

      April 28, 2016 #92 Author

      KO, I’ve done the Forum but I am not a “joiner” by nature, as there is no end to the amount of cool stuff out there to learn about, and so I took a 7 year gap before returning to do a couple other courses through Landmark. Personally, I found value in small doses of the Landmark “conversation” over the years, Agree with some of what others have said that it is distasteful to have to be subject to “advertising for the next installment” in the middle of your “already paid-for programming”. I think your two acquaintances really went off the rails, though – they were just being weird about the interaction with you. What you experienced is not part of the program. There is zero compensation or sales incentive if someone you refer signs up. You get some acknowledgment if you bring a guest, along the lines of group applause, but that’s it. Your friends were somehow really convinced that the Forum would be of huge value for you.


  • ChinaTown

    June 21, 2016 #93 Author

    Been to the introduction course in Hong Kong yesterday, the guy on the stage is awfully skillful and manipulative, gave a speech that was so well drafted, touching almost all people in the room from all nationalities, ages and gender – by somehow blending in Family, Love, Career, Money, Culture and while everybody is down after 2.5hours, he gets them at their lowest point and requests people to sign up, I stayed till the end out of whatever respect I had for the friend who ‘invited’ me and we are dealing with human beings after all, but honestly ? I’m happy I attended the introduction, asking why ?
    It’s simple, we all know that nobody is perfect, neither am I … However, people who sign up for this, have low self-esteem and somewhat problematic life looking for a ‘quick fix’, well guess what … My self-esteem is just fine and though none of us will ever be perfect, I’ll work on my imperfections myself …
    No different then feeling a bit unwell, going to a doctor and being prescribed antibiotics !
    Sure that ‘will work’ artificially, do it too often and it stops working … Next time around it won’t help … Hence, I don’t take antibiotics, I drink carrot juice and guess what ? Works like a charm …
    If I would have signed up after the introduction I would be very disappointed at myself,


  • Mat

    July 8, 2016 #94 Author

    Walked out by 2:00 p.m. on the one here in Scottsdale, AZ today. After shaking my head in disbelief at the hours long attempts to make people believe they have no “being” without language… which I still cannot make any sense of at all, I couldn’t take it anymore after several people were “worked with” in order to get them to admit that their very real reactions to life events never happened, it was all made up. People may have false narratives they tell themselves, but they have them for very real reasons and even if they didn’t simply saying it never happened IS NOT how you help someone deal with false narratives. I was told they would not issue a refund either, even though I was gone by 2:00 pm the first day. Any help with the refund process would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


    • growthguided

      July 8, 2016 #95 Author

      Another disappointed customer!! Sorry to hear that Mat.

      I think your best bet is to contact the head office and specifically ask for a refund, telling them you are very unsatisfied with the forum. That is how I approached it when I contacted them.

      Wishing you best of luck. They should at least credit you for the other couple of days even if they won’t compensate you for the day you went. I would make sure you contact them immediately though.


  • Livingston

    August 31, 2016 #96 Author

    I have never attended the Landmark Forum but I do not like their recruitment practices. It was very cult like from my experience.

    My local bus driver tricked me into attending a Landmark Forum at his home. When he invited me to his home, I was under the impression that I was attending a networking event. I thought I would be connecting with people that could help me land a job. When I got to his home, there were only five people there including me. Three of these people were Landmark representatives.

    After the presentation, me and another girl were pressured to attend the forum and put out hundreds of dollars. The more we said no the more the tried to pressure us. It was equivalent to sitting in a room and being interrogated by the police. The bus driver did offer to pay for part of it and I finally relented. After that night they called me relentlessly asking for the money to attend. One day a woman called asking when I was going to have the money and I had to tell her what happened. I told her about being pressured into doing this and that the guy never mentioned anything to me about a Landmark Forum prior to the presentation at his home. I explained to her that I was not interested in going through with attending at all. Besides, I feel uncomfortable with someone I barely know shelling out that much money on my behalf. I felt taken advantage of because I was a recent college grad but unemployed. Once we spoke, I never heard from them again and I never heard from or saw the bus driver again. However just last month, I received a LinkedIn invite from the bus driver that I declined.

    Sorry if this is so long but I wanted to share my experience.


    • growthguided

      August 31, 2016 #97 Author

      No problem at all.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. That sounds like your experience with Landmark was rather unpleasant! Wishing you a great week!


  • Steve R.

    September 4, 2016 #98 Author

    Thank you very much for creating this website and posting on your experience! Yes, Landmark is a cult! It is dangerous! I’d avoid their events and the organization! The ‘instructors’ will intimidate you, call you “machines,” repeatedly imply that you are stupid and they have many times stated you have “puny little human brains,” and make any one who disagrees with them or asks a good question onstage look crazy. The instructors and people at the top make a ton of $$$$$, while the majority of workers are paid little to nothing. A lot of work is from brainwashed volunteers. The instructors had us close our eyes and repeatedly yelled “the only way out is to realize there is no way out!” The first seminar they get your trust (since you mended broken relationships with your parents or other old friends or family), but the second seminar is where they really get crazy and try and control you! They try and make it seem there is something wrong with your current life, and the only way to a better life is through Landmark- there is nothing wrong with my or your current life, and it is healthy and happy the way it is! ….this Landmark practice is literally dangerous – the instructors and staff have no credentials other than Landmark! There are some good-looking actresses that go (who are being taken advantage of by Landmark banking off their insecurities), but still I think the risk outweighs the benefits….the instructors literally don’t allow you to take your phone out because they don’t want anyone recording them abusing the audience


  • Eddie

    September 5, 2016 #99 Author

    I took the Forum last week. Thought most it was total crap throughout, and was quite verbal about my feelings to those around me. At the end I began having some manic energy, which I thought was maybe because some of the conversations were having at least some effect on me to consider wider life possibilities, Then 3 days after the Forum, I had a major panic attach (I’m a long term mindfulness meditator- very unusual), and the anxiety has persisted, along with on an off pain in my jaw, neck and lower back. The pain for sure is psychosomatic. Not sure how this could have happened because I was so skeptical but that’s what’s going on…


  • toki

    September 11, 2016 #101 Author

    i have just gone through 2 of the 3 day forum,the reason i say 2 only is because today 845am entering the landmmark forum i was asked yo leave as i was “clearly not getting anything from this”
    if anyone is interested i will add my notes i took from this very eye onening experience
    it may take a bit to respond as i am now putting my notes together


    • Joe

      October 6, 2016 #102 Author

      If like to know what notes you took.


  • Jojo

    September 16, 2016 #103 Author

    I’m sorry to hear people’s bad experiences. I recently completed the Landmark forum and it was money well spent. Yes, some of it wasn’t new information. I love self help books and paths to “creating the life that I want”, but it wasn’t until I took the forum that I realized how much I was bullshitting myself. I was blaming everything and every one else on why I didn’t accomplish the things I wanted out of life. I will admit the first day was rough and a little boring, Day 2 I was really wondering if this was going to work but decided I would stick with it. By the morning of days 3 I finally made my phone call that I was finding every excuse why I couldn’t do the days before. But it came down to the integrity of my word and actions (as we are taught in the forum), so I made the call as I promised. And from that point on I felt like I was free of this huge burden and could fully absorb what was being said from that point on.

    There was some mess in my past that I needed to clean up and let go if I would have any chance of moving forward without that baggage. Jerry (who did our seminar) didn’t always hold our hand, and sometimes he had some tough love to dish out, but you know what…it worked! We made the messes in our lives and made the stories and meanings behind our and everyone else actions and most times if we are honest it makes us miserable and the fact that people felt like their feelings were “hurt” it was just more meaning WE were giving to the action. Once I finally excepted that I controlled the meaning it was a HUGE difference. I was stripped of all of my excuses for anything. So if I didn’t accomplish something, or procrastinated, or had an argument with someone it was because I chose to do so. When I finally completed long standing projects, I CHOSE to complete them, and if I didn’t, well I chose that too.

    When I cleared away the crap and excuses I was left with the possibility of creating anything I wanted. Genuinely so. And my relationships with friends and family have improved. My business has gone into over drive because I have become more proactive and responsible than before. I have embraced the integrity of my work; if I say I will do something, I honor it. If I have an appointment I strive to be on time and not just a few harmless minutes late like in the past. Now I am 30,000 words into my manuscript that I have been putting off forever because of all of my excuses. I needed my butt kicked; I need to know that someone wasn’t going to hold my hand and nod and say they understood and would continue to coddle me through my excuses. Jerry wasn’t mean, but after he helped us clear away and understand some stuff about ourselves, he was much more tough if we went back to revisit it. What I got from the forum was “we are not going to makes excuse for you, so stop making them for yourselves.” It was the most liberating lesson I could have ever learn. What 30 + years didn’t teach me, I learned in 3 days.

    I want to make note that no one was forced to publicly go up to the mic and speak. I didn’t say a peep until the last day by choice. But there is power in speaking in front of others; a power in saying you will accomplish something out loud and be accountable for it now that you have witnesses. I have 120 accountability partners. I may never cross paths with them again, but they all carry my promise I made for myself and I plan on keeping it. Cheers every one and I hope that people will check out the forum for themselves and see if it will work for them.


    • OzSeeker

      July 31, 2017 #104 Author

      I agree The Forum is very worthwhile on its own as is indeed the Advanced Course and SELP
      However, the constant effort put in to selling the programme to others and public beratement for not doing so is where Landmark moves in to cult like status
      Especially in relation to both ILP (introduction to leadership programme) and TEAM – both effectively provide free sales and services to the Cult side of landmark
      Several enlightened countries have now outlawed this practice
      WISDOM is Ok and recommended but did feel some guilt that it was riding on the back of effectively slave support at back (as indeed The Forum/Advanced and SELP but unaware at the time that support workers were unpaid and largely berated and humiliated)


  • Ann

    September 18, 2016 #105 Author

    My life changing experience goes like this — May 10, 2015, I attend my first service at Calvary Chapel. June 7, 2015, I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior. September 18, 2016, still attending Calvary Chapel, weekly — attend Bible study, outreach groups, pray, live, laugh, love. I’ve never been happier, my life is forever changed. It has not cost me one dime. I thank God every day for all the joy that is around me. I pray every day that those I love are kept safe and warm. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son — that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have every lasting life. Amen.


  • Lea

    September 20, 2016 #106 Author

    I attended the Landmark Forum a couple of years ago and went on to complete the seminars and last year completed the Advanved Course. I had no real issues in my life when I did the courses and attended the Forum with a friend. I learnt a lot from both of these courses about life etc. However there were aspects about the courses that were very disturbing. The hard sell to recruit was constant and distressing to me. The humiliation and pressure on people was stressful particularly when sharing. I choose not to share because of this pressure and was critisied harshly by some people. The whole issue about being on time was very disturbing to me and this increased in each course. I understand about being punctual but sometimes things happen and being a few minutes late appeared to a huge deal and people were made to stand up and explain themselves and their integrity was openly questioned. This was clearly unnecessary. I was bullied into enrolling into the latest course, Leadership and Self Expression which I did not want to do. I was dragged to the enrolling desk by a person and pressured to enrolling. I immediately regretted it but remained opened minded. I commenced the course and decided to leave after three sessions. The whole feel of the course felt wrong and something was starting to concern me. I didn’t like the the constant agreement push and the always underlying push for recruitment which was cleverly disguised. Also once again the whole agreement to explain yourself about being one minute late was becoming ridiculous. People were standing up and apologising for impacting on the group. There was no impacting or trauma. Just plain silly and humilating for these poor people. I had to ring my coach weekly and the phone call was honestly 60 seconds late. I was severely reprimanded and treated like a naughty child. The structure of the final course is, I believe, overpowering and confusing. The paperwork and information expected from the participant is intrusive and overwhelming. The whole Landmark sentence and word construction is very hard to comprehend and this confusion has increased in each course. I am now disillusioned with Landmark but I do not believe it is a cult. However I do believe it exhibits some cult like traits. Beware and be alert.


  • IJ

    September 25, 2016 #107 Author

    I attended one of the Tuesday introduction evenings with a colleague of mine. When it came to enrolling I wanted time to think about it and said I will do some research before signing up and parting with my cash. I was met with a very hostile ‘volunteer’ who gave me a scary death stare each time I said no and that I wanted time to think about how the course will benefit me. She was very pushy and demanding, even told me I would never accomplish anything if I dont sign up to this course. I repeated the fact that I wanted time to think about it and in the end she gave up and left. For months afterwards my colleague would try to talk me into it everyday, sometimes even play on my emotions and reduce me to tears. At all times i respected the fact this course changed her life but also wanted her to understand that it wasnt for me. I dont understand why they feel they need to recruit people to sign up, what do they get out of it?! It’s unbelievable how my colleague turned on me when I refused to give in and if that’s the type of behaviour the forum leaders adopt (reading the reviews it sounds like it is) then I’m so glad I stood my ground and trusted my gut instinct.


    • growthguided

      September 25, 2016 #108 Author

      It’s incredible how many people from around the world have had similar to experiences to yours…very sad. These hard close tactics are laughable! Wishing you a safe week, and thank you for stopping in the read the post!


  • Lance Ito

    October 16, 2016 #109 Author

    I took 8 Landmark courses. All paid for by a mentor. The last one I took was 8 years ago. In my opinion, landmark is like anything else…. the content is passed off as ultimate truth but it’s just one group of people’s spin on things. I liked my leaders. They were no-BS people. You’re not gonna get your hand held through Landmark. Regarding the fee, if you can’t afford $700 for a class then either earn it, dont take it, or get someone to spot you the $ or pay. You dont go into Best Buy and cry to the manager about the price of their TVs. Companies have no reason to make products affordable if their goal is profit. Landmark is not a cult but you will run into what I term “seminar junkies”. These poor saps chase the high they get out of having breakthroughs and seeing through blind spots. A lot of them do the exact opposite of what the leaders tell them to do: try to teach the material, speak to untrained folks in Landmark lingo, and preach the benefits. I know several people who seemed cool at first but who became insufferable jerks. My wife and I went out to lunch with a guy I did the program with. About 20 min in, he started questioning the nature of our relationship and marriage and insisting that it could be better. I almost flipped the table over on him. Landmark people often misuse the concept of being “fully self expressed” to be a complete a$$hole to others. The man insulted my wife and marriage and did so with a smile. Probably not the graduate landmark is most proud of. I haven’t been to a seminar in ages. Have no desire to go. I had over $5000 spent on me in courses and the lessons helped in many ways but I advise against making a lifetime of this stuff. Have it be part of your life’s journey…. not the whole thing. As much as they would deny this… the sun does not rise and set at Landmark education.


  • Shante Richmond

    October 21, 2016 #110 Author

    My daughter is in foster care because of Landmark Education. I didn’t even sign up for Landmark Education or take the course. They interfered in my life, caused me to have a break down and took my daughter as they were threatening to do from the beginning. Nothing good came from their interference in my life. It has been all negative and horrible.


  • Shewhoshallnotbenamed

    November 13, 2016 #111 Author

    My ex boyfriend is a narcissist and so this forum is right up his alley. He decided to take this course because he exhausted is supply of women and friends because of actions of his own. He refused to take responsibility for any pain he created in our community. Outta the blue one day I get a call from him asking me to attend his “graduation” and that he was sorry for all the crap he sent me thru over the years. Believing that he was genuine, I went to his “graduation”. I get there and two hours later I find out it is a huge sales presentation as to what Landmark is and why you are a useless human if you don’t attend their forum. I got up in the middle of the seminar and realized that the 100s of people in the room were being duped and those who were part of the forum had been drinking koolaid for a long time.

    The next day I got a call from a rep at Landmark and a voice mail. I then got a heartfelt “thank you” for attending text from my ex. A few days later the recruitment began. A girl named Sarah called me and wanted to know how I wanted to change my life. I informed her I was not interested in Landmark and I went to support a friend. After a half an hour conversation of NO.. she finally “got it” and took me off the list.

    For the next two months I received text message after text message from my ex inviting me to the Forum. After saying it nicely, “no, thank you” until it escalated into a giant fight over the phone I was able to block him and just keep moving….

    All I can say is that the cult is strong with these folks and those who are weakminded will fall for the breakdown and build up and how I can “rescue you” from yourself.

    I plan to avoid these people like the plague….


  • CS

    November 17, 2016 #112 Author

    Dear Growthguided,

    Thank you for starting this post. I found it extremely helpful. Went to a Forum Exploratory meeting last night and resented the hard-sell aspect of the organization; it just felt so wrong. My resistance was so high that I thought maybe the resistance itself was an indicator that I should be signing up for their course — have been torn for the last 22 hours about whether or not to take it.

    After reading all of the posts, I have decided to dedicate 42 hours to accomplishing tasks that I have been procrastinating on and to set aside the $625 I would have spent on the course to doing something special for myself.

    Thank you.


    • growthguided

      November 17, 2016 #113 Author

      1) You can call me Kael
      2) I think you forcing yourself into a state of discipline will do wonderful things for you. That sense of accomplishment you will feel after completing your tasks could very well carry on over into other aspects of your life! Wishing you massive focus and momentum with your decision (: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!


  • Sally

    November 22, 2016 #114 Author

    I went to the forum this past weekend,while I did get something out of it NO,big aha moments .
    It seamed to be good for people wanting to mend relationships with there parents.. Which is good,
    But couldn’t stand the sales pitch,that went on for 45 mins on Sat that I thought could have been spent getting to the point.
    At times she would say things so far out there ,and then would take another hour before letting us know what it .
    If I were going to spend the kind of money it cost me. Motel,dog care,forum. I would have gone on a vacation.
    My daughter who had me take it says things will come into view as time goes on. We’ll see


    • Haley

      November 25, 2016 #115 Author

      Was Erin also your leader? Due to the date I’m assuming we attended the same forum. And I must say, I shared a bit, but much preferred talking with the people there. Half of the time I was there it was mainly her talking about how great the forum is and how you should tell people but not try to use the lingo on them. It was also very much assumed that we all had relationship issues with people, but I had and still have no qualms with anyone. After spending years in psychiatrists offices, behavioral hospital visits, a lot of counseling, etc. This information they give is not a new concept, and the way it is presented seems fairly unhealthy yet great for getting people worn down so they’re like puppets to all the ideas and sales pitches and blah blah blah. All of the tactics were so obvious to me, yet throughout the whole thing I kept an open mind. But in the end I was so shocked at the amount of people who became so willing to sign up for the Advanced Course. And of course the graduates who referred them would encourage that because they are invested in this so called transformation. I was not transformed, I did not have a breakthrough, I did not get “touched” from the Forum. I don’t regret attending, however, simply because I was able to (during the breaks) actually share with people actual healthy coping skills and info about what mindfulness is about. Also met a lot of very kind people. In all, I would not recommend going to the Landmark Forum.


  • Krishna

    December 1, 2016 #116 Author

    These instructors at Landmark need a brainwash big time,they are in the wrong path, not eligible to be counsellors or coaches, I don’t understand who gives permission to run these kind of idiotic sessions even in a country like US.


  • Steve R.

    December 19, 2016 #117 Author

    I feel that Landmark Forum is one big placebo and is all about the $$$$.

    The benefit and feeling comes from mending past relationships. Not from anything the instructors taught.

    It is a cult! In the first course they kept telling us “there is no way out” as we had our eyes closed (that is not true; that is what they want you to believe).

    They kept calling us machines and tried to negate our intuitive feelings. Anyone who questioned the instructor was made to look like a fool (even though the audience had valid questions).

    They tried to tell us that something is wrong with our current lives, and the only way to a better life is through Landmark- and that is not true! Nothing is wrong with your or my current life! It is healthy and happy!

    I’d avoid Landmark Forum! It is a cult!


  • Puneet

    January 17, 2017 #118 Author

    Landmark is a total crap. Breaking someone emotionally is their modus operandi. They excel in the art of intruding someone. Their leaders are fake and liars. They mostly concentrate upon relationship woes and we as homo sapiens are very much prone to . Each one of us has some relationship woes at times but going to the landmark in anticipation that they will teach you cognitive behaviour is a futile attempt. I attended the introduction recently and how big are their leader’s claims – The Tatkal Ticket Scheme in Indian railways was a landmark project. LOL, I guess there’s no think tank working in the railways. The numbers we see on the traffic signal lights was a landmark project too. The leaders themselves aren’t authentic and I term them as out of integrity.


  • Eloisa Ramos

    January 19, 2017 #119 Author

    I was involved in Landmark Education for 11 years and I was a staff member before I left the organization. The most effective and confusing element of LEC is that within it’s philosophy is a lot of truth. Most of this truth is based in buddhist teachings. Landmark combines these insights with consumerism and lots and lots of shame. If you are unhappy, you’re in your “racket”. If you are hurt, you’re in your story. I once told someone that I was sad and he said, “Is that your racket or your winning formula?” Landmark discourages self trust and encourages you to judge yourself if you are anything less that joyous and “at cause.” I did the hard sell on others for the last 4 years in the organization. I manipulated people into doing the Advanced Course and I would spin any doubts about Landmark into self-doubt about their willingness to change. Landmark does good for a lot of people, but I believe the effects are short-term solutions. Landmark offers a sophisticated way to repress unpleasant emotions and amplify good ones- but it’s core and subliminal message is that you are not enough- not at cause enough, no generous enough, not authentic enough and not in possibility enough. Think about this: “breakthrough” is a violent word. Perhaps transformation, permanent transformation is gentle and kind. That being said, be kind to people wrapped up in this, they are already being harsh towards themselves underneath all of that surface positivity.


    • growthguided

      January 20, 2017 #120 Author

      Have you given up on your self help work, or have you picked up something even better?

      Thank you for your share!


  • Puneet

    January 23, 2017 #121 Author

    One of my friend is an ardent fan of landmark. According to me its an amalgamation of philosophy, sociology, psychology, zen, Buddhism & behaviour studies on how to intrude someone. A couple of days back received a call from landmark inquiring as to how did the introduction meeting go and what I see for myself in it. I simply asserted that landmark may work on 90 per cent of the people but I am afraid that I fall in the latter category. The young lady at the other end narrated to me that she is working in a MNC and how her relations with her immediate boss were not good and how after participation in landmark everything has changed and now she has co-ordial relationship with her boss and now he understands her better. To this claim of her’s I rebutted with what I had confronted the introduction leader. Wherever relationship woes are there, the chances for landmark to intrude increases. We all as humans have relationship issues at times but that doesn’t mean one should flee and seek refuge in some bogus self proclaimed transformation experts. Instead we should try our self to find a better solution and that solution is available in the form of self realization and dialogue.


  • Mark Driscoll

    January 26, 2017 #122 Author

    I went to the Forum in the 1990’s, and I am wondering if they still have people promising to abide by “requirements” and promising to abide by “recommendations”. For example, at the Forum I attended there were “requirements” of the course and “recommendations” of the course. People were to stand to show their agreement or sit to show their lack of agreement. When it came time to stand or sit for the “requirements”, I stood without objection, and so did everyone else. I understood if I did not agree to the requirements, I would not be allowed to proceed. When it came time for the “recommendations”, however, I remained seated, which was and should have been my FREE CHOICE. No one should have been expelled from the Forum for refusing to agree to something which was presented solely as a “recommendation”. When I exercised my free choice to remain seated, the Forum Leader approached me and asked, “What SPECIFICALLY, do you not agree to?” I responded, “I, IN GENERAL, do not promise to abide by the recommendations”. Thereupon, the Forum leader ORDERED me to leave (and get my money back). When I remained in my place for a few seconds, the Forum Leader then ORDERED, “Leave IMMEDIATELY or I will call the police and have you removed”. I paused for a couple seconds and then stated, “I understood these were recommendations. Are they recommendations or are they requirements?” The Forum Leader responded, “FOR YOU, they’re REQUIREMENTS”. For your information, there were others who had remained seated, but the strange thing about it is that they had literally been ORDERED by the Forum Leader to remain seated (They had previously confessed to bladder problems, etc. which prevented them from being able to sit through long hours without a break, etc.and therefore were UNABLE to comply with the recommendations). I was the only one in the room who remained seated without express permission from Landmark or the Forum Leader. Now, please tell me, why did these other people even need to seek permission to be excused from something which had been presented simply as “recommendations”? For my CRIME of exercising my free choice to sit (without permission from Landmark or the Forum Leader), the Forum Leader actually accused me of CONSPIRACY (in addition to other things). Now please tell me: Why was the Forum Leader so threatened by a Forum participant who was simply exercising what was supposed to be a free choice and why did something which was a “recommendation” suddenly become a “requirement” FOR ME? Where’s the integrity in changing the deal the way the Forum Leader did? The truth is: Landmark did not like it one bit that I was exercising my free choice to reject their recommendation. In effect, I tested the waters to see how Landmark would respond to my exercising my free choice and not doing what THEY wanted me to do. The result of the test was very telling. It shows that Landmark demands unqualified submission to its authority. Landmark may tell you that something is their recommendation, but in reality Landmark DEMANDS your COMPLIANCE. If you have been around Landmark for awhile you will know that the following is true: If you do what YOU want (and not what they want), it’s because of a problem or shortcoming on YOUR part — you’re RESISTING; you’re refusing to let yourself be empowered, it’s your “racket”, and on and on and on. The bottom line is: Landmark is quite a RACKET!


  • Anarr

    January 30, 2017 #123 Author

    Watching Scientology documentary and could only remember my landmark forum in 2002….


  • Inducing69

    January 30, 2017 #124 Author

    This is an incredible article dedicated to the very extraordinery topic. I hope you will like it because when I was writing it I was so excited. Follow the link.


  • Svetlana Ostrovskaya

    February 5, 2017 #125 Author

    I took landmark starting yesterday february 3, 2017 in Chicago, IL and today the coach (his name is Paul and I am not sure about last name) told me I am uncoachable and I need to leave seminar. I still do not understand why. All I asked yesterday after the coach spoke for 4 hours with himself without engaging audience if there is a way that people can share their stories as well during first day of landmark. He answered yesterday “NO. I am doing all talking today.” I said was ok with it, after all it is just a question. But today he decided to take revenge on me, called me in front of the audience, and he said he will personally train me to solve all issues in my life. I told my story to audience. Main reason I am at landmark I said that I am real estate investor and want to improve myself in what I already do may be get more confidence when working with people during real estate transaction. I told my story getting involved with real estate. After all real estate is a people business and I just wanted to improve my confidence and improve productivity making more real estate deals this year. This was my story. Paul asked why I have problems getting friends. I said: “I have no problems with getting friends. I have a lot of friends.” He asked why I am angry, I said I am not, just trying to get value out of seminar. He asked why I am so emotional when I speak to audience and I said I am ukrainian and in my country all speak with emotions and I do not want to change it. By the way many people like my presentation style and my accent, so why changing it, it does not prevent people understanding me or making friends.

    He interrupted me, told me to stop talking and said he will teach me. I was not sure what he wants to teach me and I asked “can you teach me how to become millionaire?” more like a joke and to keep up with the conversation. Paul could easily turn my question into a joke but he did not, Paul got even more upset with me, he told me to leave the seminar, because he said I am not coachable & I am not allowing other participants to get value out of seminar.

    There is some problems with this Paul, he is having issues with people asking him questions he does not like, also he has no sense of humor. How he can teach other people how to live their lives if he has personal issues he needs to overcome.

    I also did not like that everything that people spoke about on seminar was their fault. For example one woman that left husband who is an alcoholic admitted that she struggled asking him to stop drinking for many years nothing changed – man kept drinking. So she left her husbands and feels happier now. Now, Paul told her to come back to her ex-husband and apologize. I think it is simply wrong. There is nothing this women did wrong. There are lots of alcoholics in my country which destroys marriages and there is nothing women can do unless man wants to stop drinking. Sometimes separation from an alcoholic might be a best choice for women to have a better life. Paul told this women to come back to ex husband, apologize and continue to be as miserable as she was for many years. I would say come back if man wants to get sober and get back with his wife, otherwise if only women wants this marriage works this is unacceptable. This type of coaching can destroy some one else’s life. Those people who came to seminar already have low self esteem, and Paul makes people think of themselves even smaller during the seminar instead of encouraging living life at their own terms and get out of bad situations they already are with other people.

    Also I did not like that they pushed for 2 days to sign up other people to this program. After all
    if people like landmark they recommend it to their friends. I got home at 12am on train after the seminar and wondered what I will do with piece of paper they gave me to signup my friends to landmark, my friends will think I am crazy calling them so late about landmark

    After seminar I called one of my friends and told all about the seminar and my bad experience with it. My friend said that I am awesome and I should not listen to anyone. Even if 140 people liked the coach, they all could be wrong and I am right. I was happy to hear this from my friend. Also my little girls said they missed me and glad that i am home (my 8 years old said she missed me so much that she used her magic powers to get me back home)

    I have learned that having friends and family is worth more the entire landmark experience
    I went to landmark to understand I do not need it.

    All I want to say is this: do not wait for some guy Paul from landmark to come and teach you how to overcome all issues in your life. This guy has his own problems to solve and can not help you, your happiness in your own hands. If you have not spoke with your spouse for years, DO IT, if you need to change your career, DO It, do not wait for someone else to come and solve your problems. Your life is in your own hands.


    • growthguided

      February 5, 2017 #126 Author

      Thank you for taking the time to express your experience Svetlana. I think your comment will help a lot of people.. Did you attend the seminar alone, or with a friend?


    • Marijka

      May 19, 2017 #127 Author

      Bravo Svetlana, trust your gut feeling. Hаш.


  • TrustYou06

    February 12, 2017 #128 Author

    I went to LMF in Seattle over the weekend. I did not experience the horror stories of no food, no restroom and no movement. People pretty much moved freely and had snacks. It was discouraged by the forum speakers but no one was chastised for it. I met some awesome flawed vulnerable giving sweet amazing humans there…I saw myself in each of them. Unfortunately, many of them started embracing the BS, contradictions and intentionally confusing jargon that Landmark offers. Many of them expressed the same concerns of doubt and BS detection during the breaks but would nod their heads and applaud like sheep when the “sessions” started. My initial frustration turned into full on anger by the 2nd day. I left after a few hours and immediately felt better. I then broke up with my girlfriend who insisted on my attendance. It was the best 2 decisions I have made in some time. To be fair, there seem to be breakthroughs for some. I would never diminish their experience. For me, the manipulation and brainwashing was sophomoric and offensive. Do not go to the LMF if you are being pressured by someone. It will not work and trust me, people will continue to ask. Continuously asking you is part of their “getting it” or ” possibilities” or whatever sales BS they have drilled into their heads by the forum speakers…I cannot and will not refer to them as forum “Leaders”. They blindly regurgitated Landmark’s flawed principles and shout down any challenges as “not being open”. Their hypocrisy was astonishing at times but if one really believes that horse sh!t it provides an easy route to seeing yourself as blameless while holding everyone else accountable. Read as much as you can about LMF before going and trust your instincts. The X girlfriend who was always broke, magically found $650 to pay for me, so fortunately, all I wasted was time.


  • Celeste

    February 25, 2017 #129 Author

    I went to the first night of the forum last night. It was nauseating. Everyone in the room was laughing at things that weren’t even funny, the “leader” ignored the organizer’s “stretch time” sign and we all had to sit in the most horrible chairs 3 hours at a time. Strangers would get up and share personal experiences to people they didn’t know. There was no way of knowing if someone was recording it all. The room was too warm, someone kept farting, and several people were wearing nasty perfume. I’ve requested a refund as I did not return after the dinner break and did not go back there today. I took a day off of work and wished I had done something else for my time away from my job.


  • Bobby

    February 28, 2017 #130 Author

    My experience with the Landmark Forum was completely transformational. Everything in my life has changed. And I’d like to acknowledge you for being open to different points of view on the comments.

    Landmark is about primarily one thing: Pushing you out of your comfort zone. And from being pushed out of your comfort zone you discover how they’ve been running your life. And then you distinguish a lot of the ways you’ve been living and reacting in life is holding you back from exactly the things you want in life.

    In the Advanced Course you discover even more – and trust me the Advanced Course has the potential to change everything for you. They crack the world wide open and you see just what you’ve been missing outside of the comfort of the life you think you’ve been living.

    And what can come from that, is the possibility of being perpetually at peace, free, and powerful in your life in ways you hadn’t even thought of before.


  • Just Me

    March 20, 2017 #131 Author

    I have never ever posted online in the Comments section before. Ever. I have been a lurker and comment reader ever since I started using the internet in line 1998. But I have been sufficiently moved enough by my experience to share for the 1st time. (Edit after reading my post: sorry for the length, I tried my best to clean it up!!)
    Today I chose to leave the Landmark Forum on the 3rd day during the second break. I simply had an emotional breakdown. To be honest and I fair, I’d like today that the Forum DID have some value. I made a couple of phone calls and wrote letters that were so uplifting and positive and freeing! I will always be grateful for that and for seeing my best friend tackle some serious issues and come out on the other end better for it.
    But despite all that, for some reason on this last day, I felt myself become so heavy with sadness and despair. While I applauded and wept just like everyone did when someone “broke through” and transformed, I was not able to do so myself. Please know that I was absolutely moved by the stories of these people and their relief in umburdening their deepest thoughts – I wholeheartedly respect their courage and openness to “try on” (forum lingo) a different way of thinking.
    But bottom line, I just couldn’t effin take it anymore! I didn’t find myself breaking through or transforming the way they wanted, despite a couple of important and unexpectedly loving phone calls to my parents. I All I could do was sit there and feel all my sorrows and those around me. I have no right to question how anyone chooses to free themselves but some of the trauma I heard was very real and very serious. Not sure if all the coaching these people received was necessarily the best but who am I to say.
    Basically, while I “got” some things for some people and felt awesome when other people felt awesome, I wasn’t able to “get it” for myself; instead, in this groupthink dynamic, I ended up internalizing everything around me and by 2:30 pm I felt like a complete failure because I just couldn’t do it. I don’t have the right terms or level of education to accurately describe it but there was something off and “inauthentic” to me about what was happening around me. For a reason I could not put my finger on, even while I was trying to embrace it and stop the negative “racket” and “Sea of Opinion”, I was profoundly disturbed and uncomfortable being there.
    So what was wrong with me? I thought. Why can I conceptually and emotionally understand everything and truly be rooting for these lovely humans yet I just couldn’t move forward myself and turn my bs arrogant ego off? Why am I so trapped in my own “jail cell”? Do I ENJOY being miserable? I’m doomed.
    Just a snapshot of how low I went within myself. During that second 2:30pm break I proceeded to the front to speak to our leader. I completely broke down and sobbed like a child. I wanted out. I wanted to go home.
    The leader and a supervisor seemed to really care. They took me to their office and spoke with me and expressed concern at my distress. (Little nagging issue that I’m probably making too much of – they sat and munched on their food while I stood there trembling and cried. I wasn’t offered a seat. Petty complaint but I was kinda freaking out and shaking. Anyway – don’t want to make too much of it. They had to eat after all. I’d like to believe the caring was real. I think. Don’t want to make up a “story” about it and take it for what it is.)
    I was graciously offered a refund which I tried to refuse because that’s not what I was after. I just wanted to respect the time they gave me the past couple days and tell them I couldn’t continue. I found myself apologizing for not “getting it all the way and completing. Interesting: the overwhelming need to almost beg for forgiveness came over me but thankfully I resisted going that far and compromising my integrity. MY integrity, not their version of my integrity. But seriously, wtf? Didn’t I inwardly call bs on some of the crap I saw with these Forum people? The twine of fear I felt as each person transformed and became a part of the Landmark Army? Why do I even care that I thought I was disappointing them? They then benevolently thanked me for “owning” my lack of understanding and I was absurdly grateful.
    They insisted on the refund and wished me well I respect that. The invitations to my loved ones for this Tuesday’s graduation were still welcome if I “stood” for my loved ones’ happiness even though I didn’t complete. And yes, of course I stand for those I love, Forum language notwithstanding. If anyone can find a way to enrich their lives and benefit themselves from this course, I would be truly happy to share.
    Frick, this post is already way longer than I intended!! If anyone is still with me, I hope I didn’t compromise my review by lacking in brevity and conciseness. Sorry if I lost anyone…
    So…after getting out of the confines of the Forum’s structure and being able to breathe and cry I was finally able to reflect. I was free! As mentioned by others, it’s GO GO GO LANDMARK LANDMARK LANDMARK for 3 days straight. Breaks consist of assignments. The end of each day there were assignments. 13 hours days, finally falling into an exhausted sleep while so much “racket” is in my mind, get up early after a restless sleep, and then go again. Don’t be late, don’t lose your integrity! I didn’t want to be that person – deep down I craved to be what they wanted me to be.
    Couldn’t do it. To make this long story finally short, it was just too intense. The pain of others and myself that was dragged to the surface by a very well-spoken leader was too much to handle. End goal? Break you down, build you up brand new . Ok, I “get” that part. I actually DID take some value from the course as previously mentioned, I really did. But their interpretation of “some value vs transforming” was quite literally that it’s all or nothing. Didn’t transform? Fail. Got some value? Psh, you’re not coachable, fail. Not, Good. Enough.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s ok that this program wasn’t for me. I respect and wish the best for everyone that was there – I did see some amazing things! But this path was not mine. I can’t be broken down that way cuz in my case, I won’t be rebuilt and transformed – I’ll just remain broken. The whole approach was just too overwhelming for me, with NO time to digest or process what was happening.
    Regardless of the fact that I failed and didn’t graduate, I’m proud I took this leap of faith and tried this on. My sister is still interested – I’ll brave it and take her to the guest session in 2 days. Just because it wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean it can’t be for her or anyone else.
    Clearly I have a lot more to say – my attempt to be brief sucked lol – and I’d be happy to share more if anyone else is interested. First time poster, the verbal diarrhea is hard to rein in.
    Final verdict is mixed. Still trying to figure out what the hell just happened. Am I tripping myself out? I *think* the premise of it all is to help people and find our love and humanity. I guess I “don’t know what I don’t know.”
    God, I’m so happy to be home.


    • Highcar

      August 22, 2017 #132 Author

      Thank you for sharing. I went all the way through to SELP 17 years ago now and ultimately left it behind because while I appreciated and learnt from the many concepts of landmark, I didn’t get any breakthroughs. I was already pretty aware of my rackets, but not able to turn them off. Fast forward 17 years, I agreed to go to a landmark graduation with a friend of mine. It all came flooding back, the long days, the pressure to enrol people and my trouble identifying my ‘act’. In the end I agree with everyone here. It can be awful, it probably is harmful for some people, it can give jerks justification for their behaviour and it can be lifechanging. Ironically, I find the way it is run very unauthentic given their focus on authenticity. Ironically also, I finally had a breakthrough regarding my act. I think I would feel much more comfortable to promote landmark if it wasn’t such a hard sell. It does have something to offer but the way they go about it is counterproductive. I hope you have recovered from the trauma and have some perspective with time and reflection. You didn’t fail, you acted authentically. You have more insight than most. Perhaps that was the problem. I wish you well.


      • growthguided

        August 22, 2017 #133 Author

        That was a very kind and insightful response Highcar. Thank you for stopping in and spreading some positivity


  • Jenny

    June 25, 2017 #134 Author

    I was talked into taking Laksmark years ago. My career was going great at this time. Two of my friends that took it thought it would be good for me for other reasons I guess ? After taking it, my awesome career disappeared that month. I’m talking about a very hard career that I excelled at for over 20 years up until that day. I blame landmark for this. I felt confident before Landmark and then something they said changed my thinking and my believe in myself. I started questioning myself during Landmark. I was way better mentally before Landmark. This was years ago and I kept thinking that I can get my old way of thinking back but they really drilled it into my head. Brainwashed it in! I see people that had no career get a good career after doing that corse but I went the complete opposite way. I want my money and my old life back!!!!!!


  • Stephen

    July 22, 2017 #135 Author

    I cannot believe “crazy” was the word used to describe anyone in the forum. Are you certain that is the term that this man used? I know a Landmark forum leader and if it is as you describe it that leader would be disciplined up to loss of his job.


    • growthguided

      July 22, 2017 #136 Author

      Taming of the tongue is a life long journey for many. Just because speed limits are posted and enforced doesn’t mean that everyone is going to get a ticket.


  • Steve L.

    July 28, 2017 #137 Author

    I attended two introductory seminars here in Scottsdale, AZ as well. I was interested after learning about and seeing dramatic depictions of “est” on one of my favorite TV shows, FX’s “The Americans” and also my sister’s experience with Landmark Forum (which I did not realize were connected at the time). After years of trying to explain the things she was or wasn’t doing that were causing our relationship to be strained and her being defensive and taking it as if I was saying she was a “bad sister”, she suddenly left me a long voice message where she seemed to understand all I said and repeated it as if I had written it (now I realize that is the required phone call they urge you to make during the seminar itself). I was very impressed and also at a crossroads in my life where I don’t see a clear future, so I thought I’d check it out.

    However, I also suffer from depression and anxiety due to mental health issues and take medication for it. Often how I feel has little or nothing to do with how hard I am trying or something that has recently happened. In other words, it is not always about attitude or circumstance but just how my brain is (or is not) cooperating medically. I specifically mentioned to a seminar leader my concerns that it could help me and after a long talk he said he though it would and “I’d be fine”. Later I learned that they used to have a disclaimer that if you were seeing a doctor for mental health issues and were under medication (the exact types I am on) you had to check a box upon registering that automatically disqualified you, and they’d often recommend the applicant fill out a new form and lie (not check the box). I questioned as to why this was never brought to my attention and why this check-box was now removed from the registration form.

    Aside from my mental health issues, I am an intellectual and strong-willed person and have overachieved in many areas of my life but find myself really needing new direction. Some of the high-pressure sales tactics and aggressive approach put me off as well as the accounts of many who have taken the forum who I find very credible. However, the ones who have taken it and benefitted really sound positive and I think it can’t hurt and would at least solve my curiosity. Unfortunately, after reading all these comments, it seems right down the middle and I am left with no idea what to do or who to believe. As it stands now the director refunded my $625 I paid to take the course August 2017. I can always re-enroll when ready, but still unclear on whether I should or not. It seems like a 50-50 gamble. Damn.


    • growthguided

      July 29, 2017 #138 Author

      I totally get where you are at, but would rather let you listen to your gut about your decision. I can however suggest an amazing book for anxiety and depression called “When Panic Attacks” by David Burns. I’ve turned to it several times over the years.


      • Jazzie

        August 1, 2017 #139 Author

        I am so glad that there are people out there willing to exposure the fraudulent behaviours of these so called, non-judgement, enlightened teachers! What they showed me was intolerance, nil empathy & a bucket load of judgement. They did me more harm than good & I don’t say that lightly. This confidential, trusting and open minded acceptance was the exact opposite of what I received when I share my thought. Someone in my group, which you are placed in to work through exercises with, shared my thoughts with the so called hierarchy & I was then shunned. Clearly I had come there to make my life better and because I was feeling so low & down, I did something about it by going to Landmark in the hope that I would get hope. I was put into the to hard basket and advised to see someone else about my depression. Now bearing in mind that I had completed one seminar and was onto my next so clearly I wasn’t a danger to myself but because I shared some extremely private thoughts about how I felt, I was asked to leave. Abandoning a person who is very low in confidence due to be a victim of abuse, is the epitome of self righteousness. The lack of compassion and empathy I received was mind blowing. So I fought back! I had the same experience with them not returning my phone calls so I just walked into their head office and didn’t leave until I was heard. Now hearing and listening are two different abilities and they most definitely do not have the latter. To add insult to injury they continued to send emails to me even when I requested numerous times to stop, as seeing their name brought back severe feelings of rejection and humiliation. Again I had to finally walk into their office and threaten a lawsuit if they didn’t stop hassling me. No apologies for how I had been treated, just the generic closing of ranks and the ‘it’s not us it’s you’ syndrome. No accountability, no kindness. I choose other avenues to enable myself to heal from the experiences of my past and Landmark. I have now excelled in my job, gained advanced diplomas and an current my studying for a degree. Landmark you are a disgrace and I will NEVER forget the damage you could have done to me had I not been so resilient! Shame on you!


        • growthguided

          August 2, 2017 #140 Author

          I’m sorry for your terrible experience. I’m sure it feels good to know you aren’t alone in your unpleasant experience. Wishing you a peaceful week (:


  • Joseph

    September 16, 2017 #141 Author

    I did the Landmark Forum for young people when I was 8, the teen forum when I was 13, and the adult Forum when I was 22. I have taken the Advanced Course, the SELP, and seminars. I have gone through many different stages of transformation, possibility, and enrollment. I read through the comments and I see some people getting so protective, and defensive with people’s negative comments. I remember when I was like that with certain family members, and friends. I grew up hearing defensive conversation when others would criticize Landmark. I grew up thinking that the transformation that Landmark provided was the answer to peace on earth, and having the world work. I never thought of Landmark as a cult, and still do not, but I do see certain practices that would make people believe it is. Lots of repeating what the leader is saying, memorizing documents, no room for going against the distinctions. The posts about people feeling like their friends know something that they don’t is all too familiar. People that complete the Forum start to see others as the distinctions the Forum gives you. They see people as “running rackets”, having an “already always listening”, not being a “possibility”. It acts as a repellent to people who don’t get it. Sometimes people get stuck in a loop, and actually seem loopy. They are stuck in “you don’t know what you don’t know”, or life is “empty and meaningless, and it doesn’t mean anything that it doesn’t mean anything.” It can be physiologically damaging to some, and it can be empowering to others. As far as the money, if I was a leader of a course like that I wouldn’t be cheap. I personally prefer someone who has a doctorate or a PhD to treat people’s problems. The question is what is the goal for an individual person, or Landmark, and are they qualified in providing what they claim. We know the goal for Landmark is Transformation, defined as the genius of a new realm of possibility. Is this possible in reality, and what does that look like? As far as an individual, what are your goals, values, and what do you want your future to look like? It is hard, and uncomfortable for me to share about the Landmark Forum, and I am unable to relay what it is. Should a person trust a program that can’t be explained? I went through a stage of my life considering each distinction as my life, and seeing everything as that distinction. One can get lost in the distinctions, and fall into nothing. Described as well versed in “nothing.” You can also feel charged by a new possibility, and want that for the whole world. Then, confuse others with interpretation, and their identity is running their mind. In my efforts to discover what Landmark Education can bring to the world I have found that the world already has what Landmark has gotten. I have found their works in psychology, sociology, physics, and philosophy. There particular study is ontology. The only problem I have with this is how they stand by being the source of these works. They don’t give credit, and give people a language that is not understandable to everyone. If you got your life out of it, and you continue to love it, then I think that is great. I personally can’t recommend doing, and would say don’t do it.


  • J

    October 4, 2017 #142 Author

    I couldn’t understand why 30 hours were needed for the simple tools that were given to us. This whole thing could have been condensed into 10 hours or less. Half the time was spent on marketing and pushing us to take the advanced course. The key problem is the initial lie in the sign up. They ask you to write the 3 things you want in your life, and the Landmark Forum will give you them. It doesn’t even deal with that aspect at all. The Landmark Forum is about “cleaning” up your past and disconnecting you from stories and traumas that may be affecting your present life and coloring your life. I was so disappointed when they said “to start creating the possibilities in your life you need to take the advanced course”. FUCK that. I was happy for the people that were genuinely transformed…although I don’t know how long the “transformation” will last. I was also angry that it didn’t happen to me. And fuck them for wasting about 20 hours of my time on marketing…watching the same fucking videos again and again..and the constant push for us to invite our friends and loved ones or else we won’t be transformed…. I told the forum leader about my main problem with the program: the marketing… she totally defended it as something else…exactly what a racket is that they teach us…. hilarious.. Landmark is half a racket. For some it does positively transform their lives…but the marketing is the rotten piece of the apple that ruins it.


  • Save your money

    October 15, 2017 #143 Author

    Ah yes, the Forum. Did this thing back in the 90’s, at the insistence of a suitor who paid for the weekend (and who turned out to be a petulant, humorless bully).

    But I got off easy. My biggest memory of the weekend was the odd “worker bee” who sat behind me. A tall, mop-haired fellow with rather manic eyes and an utterly fake laugh every time the speaker made a lame joke.

    I finished the weekend, parted ways with Mr. Petulant, and had basically forgotten about the Forum (swiftly dumping all their slick, money-grubbing junk mail into the recycling bin).

    Not long afterward, the unsettling fellow with the fake laugh appeared all over the news. If you don’t know the name “Hans Reiser,” it’s certainly worth a Google before getting involved with these Landmark folk.


  • CORINNA Dewar

    March 10, 2018 #144 Author

    I found that you are not to be a powerful and strong person when you go in, or that you have your shit together. You are forced to open healed wounds and say sorry to people who fucked you over and close up with a band aid and everything now will be fine. What fucking bullshit. Corinna you are a strong powerful person and people usually like this are just bitches……..I replied….”I thought I was usually humble!” What she didn’t like was the fact that I brought up the issue of them earning themselves $70,000 within that 3 day course and as a client I want my money worth and as a business they ought to have catered for the long days which would have cost them $3,000. It was ridiculous us bringing in eskys with the days food, Considering that could have provided even coffee , tea, a sausage zizzle and dinner perhaps even cheap subway. Why the cheap arse attitude to people paying $800? So all the volunteers don’t get paid either only the speaker, not even petrol money while these business fucking white collar criminals, take advantage of vulnerable weak minded numnuts who go up and solve their own issues….. you want to be a victim go pay $800 to be made into a weak martyr and say sorry to the arse holes in your life who fucked you over, now they can have a good laugh at you as well. brilliant strategy! The speaker could not answer a college’s question who was trying to get information and understand where she was coming from, she could not answer the question and so chastised him as arguing and unteachable , that he needed to leave and take his money back. I interjected that he has the right to get his answer after paying $800 and that she was being unprofessional by threatening him that we would be kicked out of the course . The rest of the colleges had their tails between their legs, had no balls to see this outrageous bullshit , I don’t understand sheeple , these are the people that clamored into the communal showers in Auschwitz because they believed they would have a nice shower.


  • Constance Cumbey

    April 19, 2018 #145 Author

    “Landmark” in all its incarnations is nothing more than the same old long-discredited New Age “est” cult of Werner Erhard. It purports to give you control over your mind by teaching you a “new truth” that you are God himself. An “old lie” would more accurately characterize the curriculum. It is also old recycled Scientology combined with Muktananda and a little “Maxwell Maltz” psychocybernetics but in crude/rude form. THE BOOK OF EST by Luke Rhinehart was endorsed as accurate by Werner Erhard. Reading it gives a clear picture of the extreme degradation given naive participants. After “graduating” then you are expected to become a salesman for the “mind control” operation == otherwise you might LOSE YOUR ‘TRANSFORMATION.’ If you want to pay hundreds of dollars to be degraded, insulted, and put in risk of a real mental breakdown or be turned into a callous robot who is stripped of everything human and kind, maybe “EST” NOW DOING BUSINESS AS LANDMARK FORUM is the place for you — but if you value your humanity, your soul, and your wallet — run fast — THE OTHER WAY!


    • growthguided

      April 19, 2018 #146 Author

      Do you know anyone who attended EST training by chance? It would be interesting to hear their perspective on it.

      Thank you for stopping in Constance.


  • Anon

    June 3, 2018 #147 Author

    I dated a seminar leader. I wouldn’t date do that seminar based on him. We couldn’t do anything as a couple until after he came home from work and spent hours calling participants, cussing or being coached himself. He was coached practically everyday. On Easter, he spent the entire day on the phone calling seminar participants. Landmark ran our relationship. I ended up at a guest night thinking it was an event I could go to and leave out seeing him do something he enjoys at the end of the night. Instead, I waa talked into skiing the Forum. I was going to do it, because he wanted me to do it. Stupid! As the weeks went on, some womankept calling and emailing me. I finally answered the phone, and she wanted to know what did I want to get out of the Forum. I told her that I didn’t habe a plan. After all, I was only doing this because of someone I was dating thought it was the best thing in the world but couldn’t give me details of what to expect. The light switch finally clicked on in my brain. I am a confident woman and know how to make changes in my life if I feel things are not going well. I have learned how to move on with life and not forever hold grudges so why would I need to spend for days heating about thing I’ve already learned from past self-help seminars and life coached! I told my boyfriend, at that time, I couldn’t do it. He was pissed off and broke up with me. Months later, he tried to reconcile. What a mistake that was and the reason I wouldn’t trust much about how great a seminar leader claim their personal life is at the time. After we had a heartfelt conversation about how I felt neglected at times and he it was as if only Landmark mattered in his life, he became emotionally distant by telling me he might couldn’t be totally satisfied with me as a person unless I did the Forum but that’s not to say that we couldn’t spend our lives together. This was within a few month of trying to win me back. Within weeks, as old dating site I was still subscribed to sent me a list of profile matches. I clicked on it trying to find the unsubscribe link and in the email, I see his picture up as a new profile. He aged himself more than five years younger than his true age and claimed he was looking for his future wife. We had just had spent a nice evening together a few days prior and he didn’t mention anything prior about wanting to move on apart from each other or how he was looking for a wife. It made me think back to a time we were dating and I found a pair of women’s panties in a drawer and he convinced me it was from so long ago and he wasn’t cheating. I don’t know how someone can stand in front of people and open his mouth about relationships. I had to practically drag out any personal information from this man about past relationships, goals in life or even what actually happened in his life on any given day. He’s had a string of short – term relationships and commitment issues and yet this is someone who is causing break throughs. Seriously, it’s like a scripted drama. The leaders pretend and when no one is watching, they don’t follow what they preach. I dropped the fake Tom Cruise wannabe, because a man who juggles women can lead a thousand seminars but it still makes him a bad human being for standing in front of people and pretending to be something he’s not, like a honest human being.


    • growthguided

      June 3, 2018 #148 Author

      That’s awful, but unfortunately not surprising. These people just want to feel connected. Once these people start to identify with being a leader it’s probably pretty hard to step away from the limelight so to speak. All those people sitting waiting to be fed by their “wise words”.


  • puneet singh

    August 20, 2018 #149 Author

    “Confident walking is more successful than Confused running. Follow no one, but learn from everyone”.
    These people are confused runners who don’t even know as to where they are heading.


  • Not Going

    September 1, 2018 #150 Author

    I had signed up, received a scholarship, ($500 discount, paid for my landmark graduate); after reading some articles, viewing some youtube videos, & learning that Landmark, like Scientology, sues anyone who calls them a cult. Interesting for an “educational” workshop, as it was presented to me.


  • danny

    October 29, 2018 #151 Author

    Knowledge is free; where the money goes so goes the heart ; it is an enterprize


    • growthguided

      October 29, 2018 #152 Author

      I suppose you would agree with the notion that your actions are always a result of your beliefs ?


  • Rich Jewett

    November 13, 2018 #153 Author

    I attended Landmark and found it a disturbing experience. They start out with some very good material (mostly pirated from others), but do some very ugly things with it. For one thing, they not only misuse the term “coaching” to the degree that they don’t even seem to know what proper coaching is, but trample on the core values of the coaching profession, and do so with contempt. And while they are not a cult (as they are so often accused), I sat there listening to them and creating a list of cult-like behaviors. As I said to one person, if they don’t like being accused of being a cult, maybe it would be a good idea if they didn’t act like one. Sadly, while they can benefit some people, they can also saddle those people with a dependency on Landmark, and seem to do so deliberately. Overall, I found Landmark to be a disturbing group of people, at times resorting to crass manipulation in a way the I found to border on rank depravity.


    • growthguided

      November 15, 2018 #154 Author

      Hi Rich!

      Yes, I think you touched on some great points there. Coaching a person who is trying to grow in a place of dependency is rather counter intuitive to their sales pitch.



  • soha

    November 30, 2018 #155 Author

    Hi Linda! I have done too the forum, and I try to understand what you mean by ” my life back”?


  • Jeffrey

    December 10, 2018 #156 Author

    I showed up to Landmark at the recommendation of a respected friend who found it very beneficial, I honestly didn’t know much about it before showing up, other than 30 minutes of an vague info session I attended and an pre-interview phone conversation about some areas in my life i want to improve. My partner signed us both up for the course, so I went not out of desire to do the course but respect to my partner. Even with my limited background information, I was excited the first morning for the experience and the time to reflect on myself, my challenges, my life, etc. I was hopeful I would have some enlightenment.

    After two days in the Forum, I was completely blown away at the level of manipulation, coercion and disrespect this organization systematically subjects their participants to.
    Landmark’s problems are the pedagogy they use, and the manipulation to join more courses.
    To show people an alternative framework of thinking of themselves, the world and the future… landmark uses techniques of public humiliation, group intimidation, and complete control over your movements to regress you to an infantile state of mind. You are yelled at recurrently that we are weak little children, that you are horrible / garbage / fake / scared /inauthentic / lazy / righteous people who just haven’t ‘gotten it’ yet. Over the first two days they work to break everyone’s ego down, expose suppressed traumas or mommy/daddy issues, and then rebuild you in their image. You can ONLY sustain that new image of a more free/open self if you sign up for more courses!

    What is so irresponsible of Landmark, is that people who are dealing with serious traumas (rape, incest, suicide, etc.) are brushed off as just ‘brave for sharing’, meanwhile they are having mental breakdowns in the room. In Landmarks eyes, they are great sales tools for the program and aide in the brainwashing… no real concern for the participant, too many of whom have committed suicide from Landmark (formerly dba Lifespring).

    If you are interested in what Landmark teaches, you can get these concepts from Buddhism, Radical Construvism, and Christian mysticism. You do not need to be brainwashed over 39 hours by some ‘coach’ who is just a salesperson using basic coercion and manipulation techniques on eager, sleep deprived, broken-down people. The Landmark seems to be great for people who just have never figured out how to deal with their past, how to think of themselves as independent, and take responsibility for the emotions and actions. These people flock to Landmark and find great meaning realizing they’ve been living a fraud for most of their lives. If you don’t have this realization in the course, you are screamed at and told you are a weak coward who is too righteous and full of themselves to get it. The teaching technique is to belittle you as much as possible to break you down so they, Landmark, can rebuild you, and they can take credit for that new you.

    If interested in this Landmark, do some research on their predecessor LifeSpring, which was shut down after many many lawsuits. The whole business originates from a used car salesman, who after getting busted for creating a pyramid scheme business, started LifeSpring.

    My advice, STAY AWAY! Unless you are a lonely person stuck living in the past and stuck up on what people think of you, you don’t need to be brainwashed by Landmark to ‘get it’.


  • Tim Klavs

    May 22, 2021 #158 Author

    It does what it does it does. You get to decide what it is for you and what it doesn’t do for you. but the people around you will also judge what it did for you or didn’t do do for you .
    Personally, I clean up my past in most area so i could move ahead. gave me some great tools for life especially when it gets hard. had me take risk.


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